Microsoft Surface vs. New iPad

According to CNET’s Donna Tam, Acer has a “half empty” view of partner, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s latest plans to take on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the tablet market.  Acer’s senior VP and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Oliver Ahrens, believes Microsoft’s strategy with its tablet, Surface, will not bode well.  Acer’s founder, Stan Shih, went on to say that he believes Microsoft will end up leaving the tablet market all together after the Surface tablet debuts.

Here is what Ahren told Reuters: “I don’t think it will be successful because you cannot be a hardware player with two products”.   “Microsoft is working with two dozen PC vendors worldwide, including the local guys, whereas Apple is alone, it can more or less do what it wants. Microsoft is a component of a PC system. A very important component but still a component” (Reuters/CNET).

Analyst, Jan Dawson, of Ovum says this is not surprising that Microsoft’s partners are feeling a little betrayed.  Microsoft failed to notify its partners about the Surface tablet till just before the unveiling.  Dawson says that this move by Microsoft is a “vote of no confidence” in its partners.  Essentially, the software giant’s actions have made partners feel that Microsoft is planning to compete with them rather than partnering.

Microsoft has an uphill battle ahead of them.  Since the firm is late to the tablet and smartphone party, it will be hard to dethrone the leaders, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).  While Windows 8 is expected to be a “game changer” it is doubted that it will be able to gain significant market share from Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Aside from Microsoft’s partners, mostly good things are being said about the Surface tablet out of the gate which is great for Microsoft but now they must deliver and meet those expectations if they expect to be a contender.

Not to mention, if the tablet does fail as Acer seems to think, will Microsoft end up scraping the Windows phone also?  While Windows phones do occupy 7 of the 9 spots on Amazon’s most popular list, one must wonder if the company will have the spirit to continue to fight if the tablet fails.

The bottom line here is that Microsoft’s partners feel a little betrayed which could come back to haunt the company.  That being said, Microsoft needs the Surface tablet to be a hit if they expect to continue their reemergence as a dominant player in tech industry.

Disclosure: No positions