Remember kids, if you don’t want something to be true, all you have to do is pretend. This appears to be the life-lesson taken to heart by Acer founder Stan Shih, who said this week that Microsoft has no real intention to sell Microsoft-branded tablets, even though Microsoft held an extravagant media event on Monday to introduce such tablets to the world.
DigiTimes reported that Mr. Shih posited that Microsoft is merely trying to help expand demand for Windows 8-powered tablets, and that once it has done so by investing untold millions into manufacturing those tablets, it will simply allow them to wither away like a Karl Marx-inspired prop.
He further argued that Microsoft makes more money from licensing its operating systems to manufacturers than it would off of making the hardware itself, and Big Redmond therefore has no reason to do so. He didn’t, however, address the reality that when it comes to the mobile computing world, Microsoft isn’t making much of any profits from licensing Windows Phone 7 because the devices made by its licensees don’t sell.
Lastly, he said that the confusing world of manufacturing and distributing hardware is too confusing for Microsoft to bother with, even though the company manages to do just that with its Xbox line.
In other words, when faced with the reality that his company will soon be competing with Microsoft in the tablet space, Mr. Shih chose to invent an elaborate world where Microsoft is just doing a head fake to goose the market for Windows 8 tablets so that Acer and other licensees can then take over and reap the benefits.
Other prescient theories espoused by Mr. Shih include the prediction that the iPad would merely be a flash in the pan, and that tablets and even MacBook Airs (and Wintel ultrabooks) would go the way of the dodo.
Mr. Shih is not alone at Acer in offering such comments. Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said in December that Apple’s strength in the PC market with the Mac would soon end. Apple has had 24 quarters in row of outgrowing the PC market, a trend that has continued since Mr. Wang made his prediction.
We should note that CNet, Fox News, and other media outlets reported verbiage written by DigiTimes as quotes from Mr. Shih himself, even though DigiTimes published the information as paraphrases, not quotes. Part of that can be attributed to DigiTimes’s English-as-a-second-language nature and the newspaper’s custom of indenting every other paragraph in their articles (in a three paragraph article, that indented paragraph can look like a quote), but the article did not otherwise indicate that it was publishing actual quotes.