Acer eyeing lackluster consumer response to Windows 8 devices

The company's outspoken chairman doesn't expect Windows 8 devices to trigger much enthusiasm among consumers or huge initial growth for the industry.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Acer's Aspire S7 notebook should arrive with Windows 8 this fall.
Acer's Aspire S7 notebook should arrive with Windows 8 this fall. CNET Asia

Windows 8 devices won't deliver much in the way of "explosive growth" for device makers when the new OS debuts in October.

At least, that's the opinion of Acer Chairman J.T. Wang. The chairman made his comments earlier today during a conference call to announce Acer's second-quarter earnings.

CNET contacted Acer for comment and will update the story when we get more information. But quotes from Wang obtained by Computerworld revealed the chairman's lack of optimism.

"We are still waiting for the signal of the consumers' enthusiasm," Wang said during the call.

The company's second-quarter revenue rose more than 8 percent. But Acer is anticipating flat sales in the third quarter as a result of a sluggish economic environment and the uncertainty over Windows 8. The company was initially counting on Windows 8 to spur healthy growth in the second half of the year, according to Computerworld.

Windows 8, which launched as an RTM (release-to-manufacturing) version on Wednesday, has garnered decidedly mixed reviews. Many reviewers, testers, and users say the new OS works smoothly on tablets but isn't as user friendly on PCs. The split personality of the Windows 8 user interface (formerly known as Metro) and the desktop also has proved controversial.

Like many PC and tablet vendors, Acer is getting ready for Windows 8 with new devices. The company is planning to sell a Windows RT tablet. But that won't launch until early next year after Acer has a chance to see how well Windows 8 takes off.

For now, there's still a big question mark hanging over the industry as to whether enough consumers will flock to the new OS.

"We see that a lot of PC brand companies and also the channels have a cautious attitude," Wang said, according to Computerworld. "Although everyone is preparing for the Windows 8 launch, but still there is a lot of reservation, and so we do not see the momentum for very explosive growth has been accumulated."

The outspoken Wang hasn's been shy about expressing his opinions on Windows 8 devices.

Last week he reportedly accused Microsoft of trying to create a price chasm between its Surface tablet and rival Windows 8 tablets from other manufacturers. Wang also said in June that he expects the initial round of Windows 8 devices to be expensive enough that they'll be more suited for "developed economies," such as North America.