Microsoft’s Surface pushes Acer to be more aggressive about Chromebooks

September 17, 2012
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Microsoft’s entering the tablet business with Surface hasn’t really made them any friends in the Windows ecosystem. In fact, the majority of the manufacturers were quite angry with them, especially since the Redmond company didn’t even tell their hardware partners about Surface except a few of the major ones like HP and Dell. And that’s only two days before the launch event. If Microsoft doesn’t want to compete with them, then why were they so secretive about Surface in the first place?

Acer  had been one of the companies to be the most vocal about their critique of the Surface, blasting Microsoft over its decision to suddenly become a tablet-maker. Now they want to show Microsoft that they’ve got an alternative in ChromeOS, so they’re going to heavily promote their next-gen Chromebooks supposed to come out this October.

Acer hopes to sell about 200,000 Chromebook units monthly, and will use their Chromebook line to replace the Windows-based netbooks. It seems the netbook is an ailing product line, as users are not so keen on purchasing these under-sized, under-powered notebooks anymore, with the popularity of tablet alternatives. Major PC manufacturers have seen their sales of netbooks decline rapidly.

The question is this: if $300-$500 Windows netbooks aren’t selling anymore, what makes Acer think $300-$500 Chromebooks will?

I’ve always thought Chromebooks were a $200 kind of device, because even though you may want higher performance for browsing, at the end of the day, it’s still a browser-only machine. And so, paying $300 more for a higher performance machine just to browse a little faster isn’t easily justifiable.

If Google were to stop making favors to Intel, maybe the price of the Chromebooks would come down to $200 a lot faster, especially since Chromebooks have absolutely no need for x86 chips, as they don’t use legacy applications. I’m still hoping to see some dual core Cortex A15 Chromebooks this fall, but that might not happen through Acer, as I doubt they got to make a deal with Samsung for its Exynos 5 Dual chips.

So the last chance is for Samsung to make such a Chromebook. There have been some rumors about it this spring, but it remains to be seen if an Exynos 5-powered Chromebook will actually show up on the market.

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