Acer waits for Windows RT 8.1 to make tablet decision

Acer cancels plans to release a tablet on the current version of Windows RT

Acer is waiting for the next version of Windows RT, due in the second half of this year, before deciding whether to release a tablet that runs on that OS.

"The plan for an RT tablet is ongoing," said Acer President Jim Wong in an interview Friday at a company event in New York.

The company planned to release a Windows RT tablet in the second quarter, but has decided to hold off for now.

"To be honest, there's no value doing the current version of RT," Wong said.

So far, Windows RT tablet sales have been poor, and Acer is focusing on Windows 8 and Android tablets and hybrid devices. The company introduced a US$169 Android tablet called Iconia A1 and two Aspire hybrid touch devices running Windows 8 at the event.

The company has been focused on more high-priced products in the last year, but there is a market opportunity with the low-cost A1 and the tablet will set the tone for products coming up, Acer executives said.

"There are still users looking for more versatile products," Wong said in the interview. "We are trying to balance."

The company has a strong outlook for Windows 8 and Wong said that sales of devices with the OS will be better in the second half than the first half of this year. The company is expecting 25 percent of its tablet business to come from Windows 8, Wong said.

The market for Windows 8 is settling down after a rough start, Wong said. The launch was not ideal and the Surface tablet created some distraction, but Microsoft is now doing a good job of supporting its partners and explaining the touch-usage model to customers, Wong said.

Acer has had some supply chain issues in the last few years, but Wong said those have been resolved. The business strategy now includes a stronger worldwide distribution channel for its PCs, mobile and hybrid devices, he added. The company peaked as the world's second-largest PC maker in the third quarter of 2009, partly due to netbooks. But Acer fell behind with the emergence of tablets and smartphones as alternative computing devices. The company, now the world's fourth-largest PC maker, is retooling operations to expand in growing markets.

While the company will continue to offer PCs, a major focus will be on hybrids, Wong said. Acer set that tone at the event, showing hybrids, including a laptop with a screen that can be used separately as a tablet.

Acer wants to be at the top of the innovation curve, Wong said, adding that Windows 8 will be an important part of that.

"We believe Windows 8 has some more chances. That's why we continue to invest in Windows 8 tablets," Wong said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftaceroperating systemssoftwareWindowshardware systemslaptopsWindows 8

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?