It’s not a secret that Acer has been having a hard time—financially—as of late. The company seems to be scrambling to find the product that will keep them afloat or put them ahead. They’ve been bouncing between PC’s, laptops and tablets from Microsoft and Google’s Android over the past two years, but so far, nothing seems to have stuck… that is until they started shipping Google Chromebooks. The browser-only OS has been a hit for Acer, now making up between 5% and 10% of their sales, which is incredible when you think how little marketing the brand has received since it was launched. Microsoft on the other hand, has spent millions to promote Windows 8, but Acer says they still aren’t seeing the demand they typically see with a new OS launch.
“Windows 8 itself is still not successful,” Acer president Jim Wong said to Bloomberg. “The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that’s a simple way to judge if it is successful or not.”
Acer isn’t the only company who says that PC sales are slow, both Sony and Toshiba have said similar statements, that the demand simply isn’t there anymore. This dramatic drop-off in PC sales could be due to a number of factors, such as the complex nature of Windows 8 to adults, who aren’t used to such a modern looking UI. It could be due to Windows 8′s unfriendly attitude toward the gaming market, it could because of Apple’s iPad, which has been cannibalizing notebook sales over the past 3 years. In fact, it could just be a combination of all three. Back when Windows 7, or even Vista for that matter, launched, they didn’t have to contend with such a strong tablet offering, not just from Apple, but from anyone. Today, it’s a whole new ball game, Apple’s MacBooks have become the best selling laptops, their iPad is selling even better and now Google’s Android tablets have begun to pick up steam as well.
But perhaps the Trojan Horse to Microsoft’s Windows 8 is the sudden popularity of Google’s Chromebook, a full sized laptop, with great battery life, quick start-up times and an OS that is based off a secure browser, that allows users to get email, surf the web, play games (via the Chrome Store) and even use Google Docs (office like) for creating word documents and spreadsheets all for just $250. Sure, Acer may sound a little bitter about losing more money, after all, they did posted a loss in 2011 and 2012 and had to eat $120 million due to their other failing brands, but with the success of their Chromebooks, it looks like their telling the truth.
While Microsoft brags about selling 60 million licenses for Windows 8, they have yet to announce any hard sales data. If Acer, Sony, Toshiba and other PC manufacturers continue to vent their frustration about the sales of their Windows 8 machines, I think the data will become all to clear on its own.
What are your thoughts? Is Acer just bitter and looking for a scape goat or is Windows 8 really in trouble with all the competition it now faces?