If you needed any more convincing that Windows 8 and Windows RT are two separate and distinct operating systems, look no further than Acer. The Taiwanese computer maker threw its full weight behind Windows 8 laptops, culminating in a newly announced high-dollar holiday ad campaign starring Hollywood celebrities Megan Fox and Kiefer Sutherland and designed to draw attention to the company's Aspire S5 and S7 Ultrabooks.
The same day that the company pulled back on the curtain on that awareness-raising endeavor, however, Acer president Jim Wong said that plans to release a Windows RT tablet have been pushed back until at least the second quarter of next year, ostensibly due to concerns raised by Microsoft's Surface tablet.
"Originally we had a very aggressive plan to come out very early next year but because of Surface, our R&D development doesn't stop, but we are much more cautious," Wong told Reuters, citing Microsoft's decision to launch the Surface for $499 after Lenovo and Asus had already announced $599 price points for their Windows RT tablets. He said the company will carefully watch Microsoft's moves and gauge consumer interest in the interim.
Acer's senior management has long been a vocal critic of the Surface tablet, going so far as to warn Microsoft to "think twice" about releasing the slate. The launch delay gives the company time to draw up an attractive competitor to Microsoft's strongly designed offering, and it also gives the Windows Store's nascent app ecosystem -- a Windows RT tablet's lifeblood -- time to develop and grow.