Reuters reached out to executives at Acer and ASUS who both said that they were “surprised” by the announcement, with an Acer executive adding that “no senior executives heard about the news last week”.
The Taiwanese duo account for nearly 16% of all PCs shipped: Acer at 10% and Asus at 6%.
A source that spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity said that Microsoft’s refusal to be forthcoming with PC partners has led to a “sense of betrayal” in the industry.
Another source added that Microsoft’s jump into the hardware space has “always been a point of contention between OEMs and Microsoft.”
In America, the story appears to be slightly different with OEMs. Both HP and Dell have declined to say whether Microsoft gave them advance notice of the Surface.
A Dell spokesperson added, “We remain committed partners to Microsoft. We remain committed to Windows 8, and we will have a Slate product at the time of launch.”
Speaking with Digitimes, Stan Shih, the founder of Acer, said “Microsoft hopes that marketing its own-brand tablet PCs will encourage vendors to offer Windows 8 tablet PCs and thereby help expand market demand for the product line.”
“Once the purpose is realized, Microsoft will not offer more models,” Mr. Shih continued. “Vendors adopting Windows 8 should interpret Microsoft’s intentions positively, as they will benefit from Microsoft’s marketing.”
Microsoft’s CEO maintains that while there was some secrecy involved in the launch of the product, the company’s PC partners were given fair notice of the launch.
“Our PC partners knew in advance we were announcing something today in this space,” Mr. Ballmer is quoted in AllthingsD as saying.
“We wanted to keep things under wraps,” Mr. Ballmer continued.
“I’m out in public a lot.”
Tags: Microsoft Surface