Who can really say what has led Acer to become Microsoft’s problem child with regard to Surface? The 85% tablet/15$ laptop hybrid represents a relatively high-end tablet offering (but not a particularly high-priced PC offering) that isn’t where Acer’s brand has been. Perhaps the PC manufacturer is miffed because it sees Surface occupying an aspirational position. But so would all of its competitors.
Still, Acer has now made a point of saying that it will sit out Windows RT until it sees how Surface (at least the current Surface RT flavor) is doing. That represents a somewhat more conciliatory tone that we’ve seen in the past, given that Acer had been more opposed to Surface after it had been revealed. It hardly signals an embrace. Perhaps, now that Surface is out there, Acer has moved into the “acceptance” phase of the death of the traditional OS vendor/hardware partner relationship. But, again, why say anything at all. HP, for example, is also holding back on Windows RT devices ;it’s just not publicizing that it’s doing so.
HP, though, seems like it would have taken the wait-and-see approach regardless of Surface wheras Acer had been ready to jump in. Postponing product plans is painful, but at least Acer will now have the benefit of some free market research courtesy of Microsoft.