The spot light next week will undoubtedly be on the D9 Conference where Microsoft is all set to present for the first time a demo of the Windows 8 operating system. The next iteration of the Windows 7 OS, which became immensely popular in desktop or netbook computing platforms but not so in the booming tablet segment, is the upcoming Windows 8. Windows 8 is expected to propel Microsoft into the big league of tablet operating systems currently dominated by the Apple iOS or the Google Android. Microsoft has been conspicuously absent from the great tablet game, and now there already seems to be a rough patch in sight. A few companies who irked with the way Microsoft is handling their entrance.
Microsoft has not sent out invitations to any Taiwan-based IT vendor to participate in its Integrated Development Program meant specifically for developing Windows 8 for use in tablet PCs. This clearly has not been to the liking of Acer. In response to this, Acer chairman JT Wang, who also happens to be the president of the Taipei Computer Association (TCA), said that in the era of smart internet connectivity, Microsoft should quit setting rules on its own, and should do things based on various opinions reflecting the entire IT ecosystem. TCA has also urged the Taiwan government to intervene in the issue.
It will be interesting to note that Acer is the third largest maker of PCs in the world and one of the first among the big time companies to express its desire to come up with a Windows 8 based tablet.
According to Wang, the development of Windows 8 does not concern only Microsoft. Instead, there are a lot of other companies that also have an active role to play, without which the operating system will be reduced to just being excellent just on paper, if even that. Hence the best possible scenario will ought to have all parties involved. While Windows 8 does have market potential, Microsoft also has set the bar high by laying down specifications on the Windows 8 based end devices which includes instant boot up, Internet accessibility at all times, and of course good battery back up time. Needless to say, to have a device in place that can be considered an amalgamation of all of these will require innovative thinking an part of both the hardware makers and software developers.
What has been particularly vexing for Acer, or for that matter, all Taiwan based hardware makers, is that Microsoft seems to have left them out of the loop when sending out invitations to its program. So when chip vendors like Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm, along with a few PC vendors, can be counted among invitees, Taiwan-based vendors Acer, Asustek Computer, and HTC seem to have received the cold shoulder treatment so far. Understandably, this has raised quite a considerable amount of controversy in Taiwan.
Wang tried to reason by saying Microsoft is perhaps trying to set its own rules, while the decision to invite chip vendors can be an attempt to save possible trouble. Wang believes Microsoft isn’t acting reasonably from the way the software behemoth has ignored Taiwan based enterprises.