Lenovo exec. praises Microsoft Surface tablet

Lenovo exec. praises Microsoft Surface tablet

Summary: Acer can throw its arms up in protest as much as it wants, Lenovo said not only was it was 'fine' with Microsoft's venture into the tablet space, but that its EMEA chief actively praised the company for shaking up the market.


Lenovo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division head Gianfrano Lanci said on Thursday that Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8-powered Surface tablet will be a good addition to a competitive market.

Lanci welcomed the tablet at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin on Thursday, despite criticism from other Microsoft partners, notably Acer. 

Following the recent unveiling of Microsoft's Surface tablet, the company recently acknowledged that the new product range will be in direct competition with it's OEM partners. Microsoft stated in its annual 10-K report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:

Our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform.

However, the recently appointed head of Lenovo's EMEA division does not appear to believe the product launch will alter the firms' relationship in a significant way. Lanci said:

For sure it's not going to change the partnership. I think it's very welcoming if other people, including Microsoft, come with Windows 8 tablets. I think it's also proof that they really believe that with Windows 8 they can become a serious player in the tablet arena. And to have Microsoft doing that, I think it's a good advertisement for us and other OEMs. [The company is] not negative at all about this move.

It has not been Microsoft's usual style to compete with OEM partners, as the company relies on a good relationship in order to agree the launch of new operating systems as they are developed. This could be seen a means to potentially fracture the bonds between Microsoft and its OEM partners, but Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has disregarded the possibility.

At Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference which took place last month, he defended Microsoft's decision, saying:

"[W]e have been very good about supporting our OEMs. Very good. There is nothing that we can build that our OEMs can't build with their own energy, innovation and the like."

Lenovo previously said it was fine with the Surface, despite Acer's whimpers. ZDNet editor-in-chief Larry Dignan said at the time the tablet market needed disrupting, calling Acer's position "laughable."

Topics: Lenovo, Microsoft, Tablets

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  • One wonders

    If this honcho checked with HQ before saying they were fine. Or perhaps he's seen the Microsoft's own kit and came away laughing. Either way, cry havoc and think bad thoughts about lawyers etc
  • Can't wait.

    I'm eyeing up a Surface Pro! I'd love to sell off my laptops and run with one of these.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Too true...

      Either one of those or an OEM option...

      But he's spot on, it's a long over due shake up. When the Ipad came out it was a shake up to the old style tablets, but then people got lazy. You can understand apple's reluctance to hurry through computer independant tablets, or those with potentially expandable memory (when they charge £80 per upgrade) but their competition should have jumped on this a year ago - x86, maybe, but usb stick, external drive mounting, this should have been standard by now.

      Even if the surface pro turns out to be pants, it excited me that someone was doing something very different; combining the design of the old tablet pcs with the technology advancements of recent tablets.

      Now we have confirmation that the OEMs are doing more than complaining about it, hopefully they'll learn their lesson and look to out do it. In MS's attempts to stop the market getting away from them, they've given their partners and competition a massive heads up about what they're planning.

      My only reservations are with potential build quality as we have no real evidence to go by ( hopefully we're talking about much larger numbers of devices than Zune acheived) so whether I end up with a surface pro or an alternative remains to be seen, but this style of tablet is sure to be my 10" tablet if choice.
    • Stop speaking for me, troll

      I can wait just fine.

      Forever as a matter of fact.
      Cylon Centurion
      • I much prefer

        the only and only, Cylon Centurion. At least he doesn't come across as a buffoon.
        • I saw the light

          And decided not to be a pwned corporate tool anymore. Pulse they didn't give me my last shill bonus because I didn't kiss enough ass.

          Oh well. Too bad.
          Cylon Centurion
  • Boilerplate

    Nobody with any class ever says anything different. Interviewed on TV, the head coach of the Washington Redskins will say that the Dallas Cowboys are a fine bunch of players that the Redskins respect very much. The Redskins are going to take it a week at a time, give 110%, blah-de-blah.

    But just like the 'Skins coaches, the marketing guys at Lenovo are collecting all the scouting reports they can get about the Surface, writing up all the knockoffs, and making sure their salesmen are as ready as they can be to mop the floor with the Microsoft salesmen. And the Microsoft guys are doing the same thing.
    Robert Hahn
  • Well...

    If Microsoft does come out with pricing that is high enough to raise the overall margins the OEMS have been experiencing it should result as a good thing for all OEMs.

    If Microsoft establishes a price point in the minds of consumers and OEMs can compete at those prices everyone should benefit.

    Not to dismiss the fact that the surface is a warning shot to the OEMs. Either the OEMs step up their products or Microsoft is ready to step in and do their jobs. Which might be the long term plan.

    In a world where Google, Microsoft and Apple all make their own devices there is much less room for competition and innovation among parts designers and suppliers.
    • Vanity, thy name is Microsoft

      So Microsoft is going to "step in," eh? Them and whose army? Microsoft is a $75 billion company. What, they're just going to shove $120 billion HP and $170 billion Samsung aside? Yeah, sure they are.
      Robert Hahn
      • Mr Hahn

        Ya, and with all that money Apple is handing them their arses!! Apple not too long ago was not too large and they kicked their collective arses.

        MS had to finally step in when these "large" companies could not produce. You should not be defending them you should feel sad for them.
  • It was time

    Microsoft had spent years waiting for it's partners to create a decent tablet, and they had all failed. Finally MS could simply not afford to let Apple dominate the market anymore. And it seems by the specs that this is the best Wintel based Tablet yet, so they proved that it could be done. The OEM's should take this as an opportunity to innovate, and to ride the wave created by MS. Enterprises are serious about looking at the Surface as a real user device, i've never had the same feedback about previous tables.
    • How can they do that?

      How does a partner create a great tablet with Windows 7? Other than the cover keyboard there os nothing special about the Surface that makes the OEM finally wake up.

      None of what has been announce seem "inspired" by the "awesome" Surface. Frankly, I believe the response by both Lenovo and HP indicates to me that they see the Surface as just another tablet. Big whoop.

      Now if it comes out at the ridiculous 200.00 price that some have rumored, THEN you might see a different response. But I doubt that will happen.
  • If it doesn't have an i in front of the name

    The sheep won't flock. Regardless of how much praise it receives from people that actually know what they're talking about (see Windows Phone). Hopefully this trend doesn't continue because I'm tired of seeing products with potential flushed down the toilet because of politics.
  • Lenovo knows it can compete

    I'm sure they are nervous about the Surface, but when they weigh all the factors see it as a net positive for them. For example, Microsoft's marketing of the Surface will help draw attention to all Windows 8/RT tablets. Lenovo knows they should be able to create good ones, and thus when consumers start looking around for a Windows 8 or RT tablet they'll find and buy Lenovo's. The other OEMs are in the same position, but perhaps have less confidence (e.g., Acer) of this scenario. As another example, HP seems to have chosen a point on the spectrum where they could kick ass as the place to concentrate their efforts. I just blogged about this at http://hal2020.com/2012/09/04/an-oem-hp-is-making-my-life-difficult-good/ and I'm looking forward to really seeing what Lenovo has to offer as well.
  • The quailty of everything is going backwards, failure in design.

    Anyone who know computers know Acer and HP(an unrelated company?)makes junk for the most. IBM has been known to be one the few companies to make fairly reliable units overall, so this is not really a surprise. Dell only makes one good line, the latitude e series, which probably more popular.

    The OEMs really need to offer more reliable hardware, and stop putting out Athlons and Pentiums with only 2gb of ram. Its 2012 that crap should been phased out 5 years ago at the very least when the core duo's and phenom 2's came out. The Motherboard designs have been regressing lately with electrolytic capacitors which are known to fail before the solid caps, and on board ram is another guaranteed failure. I know thin is in for now, but they could easily put 2 ram single stack boards instead off the traditional double stacks ports if they want to make it thin. Ram does not weigh very much.

    Also the hard drive manufacturers seem to be making less reliable hard drives too. With Seagate being the worst one out there I know of. It seems the failure rate went from 4 to 7 years down to 1 to 3 years for spindle types today. Rumors are the new ssds to come out soon will have a higher density, but will have only 6,000 write cycles verses the current ones with about 25,000 write cycles. Doesn't seem like a fair trade off.

    It would be nice if the OEM's became more passionate about QUALITY, or at a few force the rest to compete over it.
  • One more thing Apple patent trolling guarantees I will never buy one.

    Patent trolling destroys innovation. I just seen a few post about apple and had to add that in there. Every thing made today is based on the ideas of yesterday. Patent trolling slows progress and inhibits standards from developing. Not to mention killing start-ups in their tracks.
  • lol

    some of you people act like the OEMS have a choice, that they can just say no to windows and carry on as before.

    The truth of the matter is that without an operating system their hardware devices are just a flashing cursor, the OEMS still need windows to sell their products.

    MS holds all the aces in its hand.
    Scarface Claw
    • God is dead: nietsche. Jobs is dead: Gates.

      Yes the OEMs are tied to MS. Apple is not licensing IOS. LINUX is a hobby OS. Android is fine for games or movie watching.

      The IPAD is an entertainment platform. Bundling Surface (especially Surface Pro) with Windows 8, keyboard, and Office takes the tablet out of the expensive toy world.

      Lenovo wants to play in a Windows 8 - Ultrabook slim or tablet with a keyboard world.

      Apple lost it when it couldn't move from Apple II and Mac to Windows. Ipad is doing the same. It will die if it can't grow with it's own success. IOS is the albatross around Apples neck.

      Apple needs a keyboard, USB, memory expansion, and Windows 8 to survive. Without them IPAD will be just another expensive Apple footnote in computer history.

      Wozniak was smart enough to understand that, Jobs was not.

      History repeats and repeats and repeats.