J.T. Wang, Acer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer revealed that the restrictions that the Redmond company has imposed on computer manufacturers in order to get the next version of Windows on tablets are nothing short of troublesome.
Wang refused to offer any additional information, or to go into details explaining just what kind of limitations Microsoft is imposing on OEMs.
However, Acer’s CEO did stress that both chip and PC manufacturers feel like the software giant is attempting to control the entire process of putting Windows 8 on next generation form factors. Microsoft of course, provided no confirmation of this, now or in the past.
Earlier this year, I opined that it’s absolutely necessary for Microsoft to keep OEMs on a very short leash, and ensure that upcoming Windows 8 Tablet PCs slates are indeed capable of rivaling Apple’s iPad.
Having confirmed that Windows 7 Next will support Systems on a Chip architectures and ARM systems, the Redmond company is expected to offer a special flavor of Windows 8 tailored to tablets.
Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer underlined the company’s upcoming strategy on a recent visit in India:
“So, despite the fact that we know we've got some work to do, we want to put Windows on ARM. We announced at the CES conference that we would move to new low-cost chips outside of the Intel and AMD world,” he said.
We're working on sort of touch-optimized devices with Windows as we move forward. This year, there will be another 350 million PCs that get sold, despite the fact there will only be maybe about 30 or 40 million of these next generation slates.
So, we're in a race. We're doing not that badly frankly, pretty well in that race, but the race is on to continue to push Windows to a variety of new form factors.
Ballmer might consider Microsoft as being in the race, but what the company’s CEO is not saying is that the software giant has barely started limping, compared to Apple, which is already advancing at a fast pace, with a considerable head start offering it extra advantage.
Despite having introduced a slate operating system with the release of Windows XP SP2, and Windows Tablets years before Apple, when the first Windows 8 slates do hit store shelves, the consumer perception will be that Microsoft is playing catch-up to Apple yet again.