Acer to Microsoft: Hardware is our game, stick to software

An Acer exec has compared hardware manufacturing to a tough meal – and speculated that Microsoft may find it difficult to chew.

A woman walks into an Acer store located in the Guanghua Market area in Taipei, Oct. 23, 2012. Acer exec Linxian Lang recently issued a warning of sorts to Microsoft.

Acer, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer, has some strong words for Microsoft

In an interview with Tencent Technology, Acer executive Lin Xianlang compared hardware manufacturing to "hard rice," and speculated that Microsoft might find it extremely hard to eat. (The full Tencent Technology article is here – we're relying on Google Translate for a rough rendering of the original text.) The hardware in question, of course, is the Microsoft Surface tablet, a rival to Acer-made Windows 8 tablets such as the Iconia

Lin's message might be paraphrased as: You make the software, Microsoft, and we'll concentrate on the hardware. 

But as Sharif Sakr of Engadget points out, "Microsoft's tablet has been boiled and salted just right, which might be the real reason Acer is so averse to it."

The Windows RT-powered Surface has in recent days received generally strong marks from critics. Reviews have highlighted the strong build quality and strong lines of the device, while questioning whether Microsoft has done enough to court app developers. 

Even Oprah Winfrey has gotten into the game, adding the Surface to O Magazine's "Favorite Things of 2012" list (hat tip to PC Magazine). The tablet, Winfrey says, "feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!" 

Anyway, this probably won't be the last time a hardware maker gets a little snippy with Microsoft.

As we noted late last week, there is strong evidence to suggest that Microsoft will eventually manufacture its own smartphone. That would alienate smartphone makers such as Nokia, which has partnered with Microsoft to produce a line of Windows Phone devices, including the Lumia 920

Late last month, Microsoft said it had sold 4 million Windows 8 upgrades shortly after launch, although it has not released sales figures since then. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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