OEMs aren't loyal anyway
In addition to falsely stating that hardware is not something Microsoft is good at, Kan said in the same interview that "If Microsoft... is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?"
He's basically saying that if Microsoft is going to compete against OEMs like Acer, maybe OEMs like Acer should stop being loyal to Microsoft and look for alternatives to Windows.
My question is: What is Kan smoking? Microsoft partners in general, and Acer in particular, are perfectly disloyal to Microsoft, and have been pursuing alternatives for years.
Acer sells Linux PCs without much success. Most of the company's Acer Iconia tablets run Google's Android platform.
Is Acer's CEO unaware that Acer sells Linux and Android systems as aggressively as they can, yet almost all their revenue comes from Windows systems?
What does it mean to Kan for Acer to "find other alternatives?" Simply give up the majority of its revenue and go with the platforms that are not succeeding for Acer?
Microsoft's new strategy is the best post-PC strategy
Kan slammed Surface. But what he really fears, no doubt, is the whole post-PC world.
The truth is that so far, the post-PC universe is dominated by Apple because in part Apple has the right business model. One company makes the hardware, software and supporting cloud services as one integrated consumer appliance.
So far, this is the only strategy that works in the post-PC world, from a business perspective.
That's probably why Google is hedging its bets with the Motorola purchase, and why Microsoft is doing the same with Surface.
When appliances make their way onto desktops and into enterprises, what's a company like Acer to do?
Acer is probably afraid that Apple and Google and Microsoft will end up running away with the whole market, doing their own hardware tightly integrated with their own software and their own services, leaving the Acers of the world out in the cold.
And that's a rational fear.
Acer isn't afraid that Microsoft can't make great tablets. Acer is afraid that they can.