updated 05:20 pm EDT, Tue May 31, 2011
Acer complains of Microsoft tablet limits
Microsoft is forcing hard limits on how Windows 7 tablets are being designed, Acer chairman JT Wang commented at Computex on Tuesday. He wouldn't elaborate beyond saying there were limits on processor designers that were in turn affecting the PC builders, Bloomberg heard. The limits were "very troublesome," Wang said., though without comment on whether that affected the Iconia Tab W500.
Neither Microsoft nor the unnamed chip partners, most likely AMD and Intel, have responded to the accusations.
Restrictions would be rare for Microsoft. The company has tried to steer companies away from overloading PCs with unwanted apps but has usually only argued for control on hardware limits for netbooks, where a system can only run the cheaper Windows 7 Starter if it meets certain conditions. Processor limits are rare outside of the category.
The gesture suggested Microsoft is concerned about its very small share of the tablet market and is hoping to control the experience to present a better image of Windows tablets until at least the Windows 8 launch in 2012, when the platform will have a ready-made interface for finger input. Reviewers have noted that Windows tablets, often due to the power-hungry processors they need to use, can last half as long or less on battery as an iPad or an Android tablet and often won't run as smoothly if it uses a chip like an Atom processor.
Apple has often been criticized for its tight control of software policies on the iPad but has so far been the most successful both critically and in market share. Some of the success has been credited to its choice of processor and close integration between the OS and what the processor can do.