Acer Plans to Gradually Shift Focus Away from Windows

Pulkit Chandna

Will concentrate on expanding its Chrome OS and Android device portfolio

Back in December 2012, Acer president Jim Wang said it was too early to say whether Windows 8 was a success or not. Some seven months later — a period during which the company suffered a quarterly loss and the world a shoddy 8-inch Windows 8 tablet from Acer — the Taiwanese company seems to have found the answer.

"We are trying to grow our non-Windows business as soon as possible," President Jim Wang told investors in a conference call last week. "Android is very popular in smartphones and dominant in tablets…I also see a new market there for Chromebooks."

The company is a Chromebook veteran, having been around since the very beginning. Now, it is trying to prop up the share its Chromebook sales have in its overall notebook sales from the current 3 percent to 5 percent (which won’t be all that difficult to achieve if it continues to make products like the the Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet ). By the end of next year, the beleaguered PC vendor sees Android and Chrome OS products making up around 30 percent of its overall revenue.

Despite all his eagerness to expand Acer’s non-Windows business, Wang admitted that traditional PCs are “the best IT device for productivity", with alternatives just not being good enough. "However, at today's stage, the user feels very puzzled,” he added. “They need some convincing reason so that they will start to buy the real PC again.”

Further, he feels Steve Jobs death has only made matters worse, for consumers no longer know “whom they have to listen to” now that he is no longer around (yes, he actually said that).

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