Shelving what it described as an "aggressive" product schedule, Acer is delaying the launch of its Windows RT offerings until Q2 of 2013. This news comes for Acer President Jim Wong who cites Microsoft's Surface tablet as the reason, in this interview conducted by Reuters. "Because of Surface... we are much more cautious," claims Wong.
Acer made clear its thoughts on Surface this summer when the company said Redmond's foray into tabletdom would hurt the industry. The company said it may even consider looking for alternative partners. Acer having to delay its Windows RT line-up is likely to increase this divide.
Surface was released just days ago to relatively mixed reviews, but certainly not without ample amounts of praise for its sleek and solid construction, responsiveness, no-cost Office RT bundle and its clever but effective keyboard cover. Although Surface may have missed its chance to hit the $299 and even $199 price mark, it seems apparent Microsoft still has a solid product on their hands.
Wong said Acer is waiting to see how Surface does -- how well received it is by customers and how aggressive Microsoft will be in pushing Surface. He noted that Asus and Lenovo had already developed plans for $599 Windows 8 RT tablets well before Microsoft made the unilateral decision to release its own product for a hundred bucks less. Microsoft, of course, doesn't have to pay license costs for Office and Windows 8 RT, giving it a marked advantage over now-rival OEMs -- and giving OEMs like Acer pause before jumping in head first into the Windows 8 RT tablet market.