Dear PC makers: Don't whine about Microsoft's Surface, top it

Summary:PC makers can't stop talking about Microsoft's Surface tablet. Perhaps it would make more sense to whine less and innovate more.

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said his company isn't threatened by Microsoft's Surface tablet because it can make hardware better than the software giant can. Acer is wound up about the Surface. And HP seems relaxed about the Surface at least for now.

Enough already. The bottom line for PC makers if this: If you can't top Microsoft's Surface tablet you probably shouldn't be in the game. The whining about the Surface---off record and on record---reflects why Microsoft had to cook up its own tablet in the first place. The PC industry is stale. Intel had to cook up the ultrabook category with reference designs. Microsoft created the Surface.

surface
A lot of hubbub from PC makers over this little gadget from Microsoft.

Shouldn't Acer, Lenovo, HP or Dell have created something before Intel and Microsoft kicked them in their collective rears?

As noted previously , Acer's comments were laughable. Silly even. Lenovo's comments about Microsoft weren't all that confrontational. CNET's Brooke Crothers read Yuanqing's comments to be a dig at the Surface. Here's what he said on Lenovo's earnings conference call :

So regarding of the Surface, to be frank, we are not that worried about that. We are not that worried about that. Firstly, Microsoft is still our strategy partner, still our strategy partner. We are very optimistic on the new Windows 8 launch. So we will fully leverage that to launch our new product to take the market opportunity, to take the market opportunity.

Although we don't like Microsoft provided the hardware part, but even they've started this hardware business. So we think that we, for us, that's just add one more competitor. So it's just one of our many competitors. We are still confident in ourselves. So we are providing much better hardware than our competitors, including Microsoft, including Microsoft. So they are strong in the software, but I don't believe they can provide the best hardware in the world. Lenovo can.

If Yuanqing said anything different he shouldn't be CEO of Lenovo. HP is taking a similar approach. An HP executive told CRN that the company applauds the Surface effort because Microsoft is showing what's possible.

And that's the problem. Apple, Microsoft and Intel are showing PC makers what's possible. Ideally, PC makers would be showing us what's possible too instead of whining.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, PCs, Tablets

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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