Hewlett Packard (HP) and Acer may be quite wary of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, but Lenovo says its ThinkPad Tablet 2 can easily co-exist with Redmond’s indigenously designed Windows 8 device.
"On the whole, the Surface tablet does a lot for the Windows ecosystem, and we believe that Microsoft announcing Surface... is going to really bring excitement to the Windows 8 ecosystem and help to drive that," Lenovo rep Preston Taylor told CRN during a recent interview.
"Our general position is that the excitement in having strong, quality products in the Windows 8 ecosystem will be good for the ecosystem and ultimately great for ThinkPad," he said.
Taylor’s optimistic stance stands in direct contrast to recent comments made by Acer chairman JT Wang that Surface would have "negative [implications] for the worldwide [computing] ecosystem."
"We have said [to Redmond] think it over. Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice," Wang told the Financial Times.
"If Microsoft... is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?"
Vendor concerns over Surface were even acknowledged by Microsoft itself in an annual report recently submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, with Redmond conceding: "Our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform."
Obviously, one can’t help but wonder about the differences in attitude between Acer and Lenovo. Personally, I’m guessing that while Lenovo has expressed trepidation over Surface in private, the company is probably betting that Surface will probably fail spectacularly like the Kin and likely won’t pose much of a threat at all.
Remember, Microsoft doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to hardware, with the Xbox 360 being a rather notable exception. Nevertheless, Acer likely has little patience for any more exploratory campaigns by Microsoft - especially in the hyper-competitive mobile space - that could potentially threaten its bottom line.