Acer Windows RT Tablets Delayed After Surface Launch

Acer Windows RT tablets will not be released until at least April, Acer has said, following the mixed reception given to the Microsoft Surface tablet.

President Jim Wong told Reuters that it had planned to release the devices in the first quarter of 2013, but it will now wait to see how Microsoft fares after the Surface was released in the UK last week.

“Originally we had a very aggressive plan to come out very early next year but because of Surface, our R&D development doesn’t stop, but we are much more cautious,” Wong told Reuters.”Originally our plan was Q1, but now I don’t think it will be earlier than Q2.”

We are watching how Surface is doing,” he continued. “How RT is accepted by customers, how Microsoft is aggressive on RT and on Surface, we don’t know… we want to see.”

Acer Windows RT tablets

Windows 8 is the first version of the operating system to work equally well on both desktops and tablets, but Microsoft has also released Windows RT, a version designed to run on ARM-based architecture that is only available to manufacturers.

It lacks some functionality and is only compatible with applications from the Windows Store but the trade off is that it is cheaper and boasts a longer battery life.

In an attempt to emulate the success of Apple in producing its own hardware, Microsoft has created both a Windows 8 and Windows RT version of the Surface. However the move has angered a number of its partners, with HP and Toshiba among those who halted plans to develop Windows RT devices.

Acer was one of the first to criticise Microsoft for its plans, saying that it would have a “huge negative impact” on the Windows 8 ecosystem.

Earlier this week, Acer showed off a number of its Windows 8 products and told TechWeekEurope that “Windows 8 is a great opportunity for us.” It said it was passionate about touchscreen technology and that it believed that tablets and laptops would eventually merge into a single form factor.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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