Why Acer Is Holding Off on Windows RT for Now
Acer will have a ton of Windows 8 machines on store shelves this week, but it will have no computers running Windows RT — the version of the operating system that can run on ARM-based chips from Nvidia and Qualcomm.
The company has hardware designs ready, but won’t ship them until next year.
“We thought about it,” Acer computer unit president Campbell Kan said in an interview. “We do have products ready.”
For now, though, Acer is going with a lineup of touch-centric laptops, tablets and all-in-ones, all powered by Intel chips.
Maybe that’s why Intel CEO Paul Otellini happily boasts about his experience with a touch-based Windows 8 laptop from Acer.
Other PC makers are hedging their bets. Longtime Intel customer Dell, for example, has a convertible tablet using a Qualcomm processor, while Nvidia is powering Microsoft’s Surface and Lenovo.
While not straying outside the processor mainstream, Acer has bet heavily on touch, saying it is a necessary ingredient for a good Windows 8 experience.
Without it, “it makes no sense.” The challenge, Kan said, is that few people have really played with Windows and touch. “When you start to use Windows 8, you will figure out you couldn’t live without touch.”