back to article Acer outlook not so sunny after all

Acer has scaled back its expectations in the PC market after an optimistic forecast earlier this year. It blamed Microsoft for failing to push up demand for its latest operating system, Vista. Acer, which was recently ranked by Gartner as the third largest PC vendor behind Hewlett Packard and Dell, said it now expects sales …


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  1. Brett Brennan

    MS FAILED to push Vista?!?!?

    Well, this is an interesting twist - MS accused of NOT whipping hype over its product into a frenzy! I suppose MS COULD have used the (unpaid) EU fine monies to purchase every single advert spot in the Free World for the entire year to insure people got the message that Vista is a "necessity".

    Oh, wait, they already did that...

  2. James

    MS' Fault

    I can see that lack of demand for Vista is in fact MS' fault but it's not lack of marketing. It's because Vista is bloody awful. People know and like XP which is fairly reliable with good driver availability. Vista isn't and is notorious for driver problems so people don't want it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sunny Solaris

    There is a simple solution to that. Offer Linux PRE-INSTALLED!!!

  4. breakfast Silver badge

    Well, MS Failed...

    Seems to me that MS pushed Vista plenty. They just failed to make it seem important enough to people who are quite happy with XP and don't want to have to buy a new PC so it's powerful enough to run a new operating system that two thirds of their existing software isn't yet compatible with.

    In fairness, that is a pretty tough sell.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reluctance to move to Vista

    I think the real reason is the general public's reluctance to buy into Vista. Even some of the least tech-savvy public have read up on Vista and are concerned about what they read and without really understanding it all, are holding off or requesting XP instead.

  6. Karl Lattimer

    They didn't fail

    Nobody cared!

    MS have done their utmost to push vista onto consumers, including blanket adverts on TV, Dell not allowed to ship XP (u-turned), and all the rest of the hype.

    The reason its failing isn't because they didn't push it, its because people just don't want it. 90% of reviews go like this;

    "The install took x long on my brand new top of the line y machine, so i had time to invade mongolia, and still had time to build a pyramid"

    "Once I got into the desktop, it kept bothering me about security"

    "It took me ages to copy a few of my audio tracks over the network, 3+ days"

    etc. etc. etc.

    People don't want vista, after 5yrs, everyone just wants a mac, at least they can deliver in the same year as they promise to.

  7. Keith Turner

    . . . then now's the chance

    Now's the chance for Acer to offer something other than Vista.

    How about doing a Dell - and not just in the U.S. - and giving an option of some form of LINUX.

  8. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Or to put the problem the correct way round...

    Or to put the problem the correct way round... we're no longer buying Acer laptops in the price range and specifications we previously bought in, because Acer have dropped their Windows XP Pro systems and are foisting Vista on them instead.

    As a result, we're buying laptops from other manufacturers who are doing what the customer (especially business customers) want - Windows XP Pro.

    Quite how this is the fault of MS for not pushing Vista hard enough, well that's for the department of marketing, lies and statistics to come up with an excuse.

  9. Rob

    Vista's not so bad...

    ... for home users at the moment, I haven't experienced anything near the nightmare stories in the press when it was first released. I have 2 laptops and my old desktop machine running vista on my home network and they all seem more than happy.

    I think the home users just haven't caught up yet, why the market thinks that the general public will go and buy hardware and software like a geek (ie, as soon as it comes out) is beyond me as it's never happened like that in the past. Look at the iPod, that took awhile to catch on, look at it's saturation now. Also Acer's fault for having to high an expectation in terms of sales.

  10. Ed Ebert Jr.

    Vista Woes

    I acquired an ACER Aspire 3100 notebook mid-January. It came with Vista Basic. Being a nine year Symantec-Norton user I acquired N360 based on the PC Magazine review of the same month, and then I needed backup swe as Vista Basic comes with none, unlike earlier Windows versions. Acronis has been well reviewed, so I licensed True Image v10.

    Since then, Symantec's N360 automatic (daily ongoing) virus definition update kept things nicely handled. Then, the May 30th update dorked N360, which then dorked any-all network access. Symantec Tech Support has been totally broke-dicked regarding Vista. They asked that I remove all Registry keys for Symantec (anything) but the VIsta problem blocking LAN-WAN access persists. My conclusion: Vista (DRM Hell) is stashing App data in it's own internal format such that complete Registry cleansing for a given App DOES NOT remove offending code ... and Symantec Tech Support is totally unaware of that.

    Separately Acronis True Image and Disk Director Suite both employ SNAPapi, which under Vista goes into a loop consuming every available machine CPU cycle. AArrgghh!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "There is a simple solution to that. Offer Linux PRE-INSTALLED!!!"

    Yeah, like that's going to be popular. They'll sell even less!

    Doesn't matter if it's better, people don't want it on their desktop in general, mostly because all that stuff they bought for Windows won't run on it. Fact of life I'm afraid and no amount of fanboyism will change it.

    However as a footnote, Acer do (or did) sell linux pre-installed on some laptops, so the standard anti-Windows linux fanboy argument these articles always get is null and void (unless Acer have stopped selling them again, in which case that just goes to prove nobody wants it anyway).

  12. Andy Bright

    I have to agree with the other comments

    Vista desktops and laptops don't sell because generally people aren't stupid enough to buy them.

    Why would you want to run a computer at 2/3rds the speed its capable of? Sometimes less.

    Why would you want to continually answer useless security questions - whose only purpose seems to be to condition users into accepting any request that comes their way? Sort like the ActiveX issue on steroids, only this time they'll be conditioned into giving whoever asks admin privileges.

    Why would you want to cripple the performance of basic tasks like file transfer - sometimes taking hours instead of minutes to copy a few hundred megabytes of data?

    Vista is complete shite. But it looks good - and Microsoft are inviting everyone to experience the WOW. Yeah, WOW this is taking so long, WOW this doesn't work any more, WOW my machine is so shit now. But I like the bubbles... and I've always been distracted by shiny objects so I'll ignore everything else..

    Bottom line is if Acer went back to XP - but this time include a proper install CD with their systems - they will probably see their sales pickup quite quickly.

    Linux isn't the answer - not unless the mass market decides to ditch Microsoft altogether. I'll admit that would be nice, but it's not happening at the moment. It might in 5 or so years, if Microsoft can't fix Vista by then. If XP doesn't get replaced with something worth having in the next 5 years, it will become so dated you may well see corporate buyers considering Linux, Apple or just about anything that appears to work properly.

  13. foxyshadis



    > Being a nine year Symantec-Norton user I acquired N360 based on the PC Magazine review of the same month

    If you pay actual money for symantec home versions, you deserve all the problems you will get. They've been consistently reviewed as one of the worst vendors from many points: cost, system stability, virus catching, and support. Yet you people keep buying them on nothing more than name value and convincing them not to change one bit, listening to rags like PC Magazine that review based more on advertising contributions than quality. (I'll grant 360 is better than the hell of versions 2002-2006, but better than the worst isn't much of an accolade.) Symantec offers the same remedies for XP problems and the same problems persist, not because of Vista, but because symantec sticks bits and pieces all over different parts of the registry, and their support is clueless about them. The removal tools made by engineers they periodically publish are far better than any of their customer service staff.

    Just go with the free Avira (or AVG or Avast), and Comodo Firewall, or one of the commercial alternatives; at least try the alternatives and see everything you've been missing all these years.


  14. Chris Boyne

    Vista Ultimate + 1GB RAM = Unhappy Chappy

    I bought an Acer laptop with 1GB of memory and Vista Ultimate. Just turning it on and opening up IE, the memory usage was 763 MB. Given a 256 MB commitment to the shared graphics card, that's me thrashing the virtual memory before I even do anything. Turns out there are a few things you can tweak to get Vista to wind its neck in a bit but your average joe is never going to know that nor care to find out.

    The cost of 2GB SODIMMs for laptops is exorbitant (about three times the cost of a 1GB module) so getting the thing to the recommended 4GB RAM for Vista is going to scorch your wallet somewhat.

    Selling Vista with 1GB of RAM results in your customers thinking either your laptop is rubbish or (more rarely I wager) coming to the correct conclusion that Vista is a bloated RAM-hoover and regretting whatever part of their purchase price paid for the OEM Vista copy that they want rid of but can't sell.

    I ended up installing Ubuntu which does the same thing (run a browser) in 172 MB, which is in the same ballpark as XP which is about the 240MB mark.

    Looks like there isn't a way for me to trade in my Vista license for an XP one so I'm stuck with an OS I didn't even want in the first place.

    Bad call Acer, number 1 for selling Vista and number 2 for not putting at least 2GB of RAM in every laptop.

    Trying to run Vista on 1GB of RAM is like driving a car with square wheels.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because all that stuff they bought for Windows won't run on it.

    But a lot of it will not run on Vista either, especially 64 bit, or 64 bit XP come to that. At least the bulk of the FREE LINUX stuff runs on LINUX.

    Now thats a pleasant surprise.

    For the record I use windows most of the time but trying LINUX leaves me sorely tempted

  16. James Pickett

    A good time to renegotiate MS licensing deals?

    My local dealer has sold out of bought-in XP systems, and is satisfying demand by assembling their own (desktops). Not so easy with laptops, of course, but it's hard to see why the manufacturers can't revert to what they were doing a few months ago. Or has MS tied their hands...?

    I've installed two Vista systems and hit driver problems with both. Also, it reduced high-spec hardware to pedestrian speeds, all for a bit of eye-candy that no-one needs....

  17. Bob Hughes

    For Once, the public examines correctly!

    The public has examined and analyzed the choices correctly.

    Vista from a security and interface perspective is superior to XP.

    But the public won't universally pay the price, low performance and scant driver support.

    Linux and Mac's though arguably better OS's just aren't the mainstream. Users have Operating systems to run applications and Windows applications are, for the most part the applications people want to run.

    MS has been hyping Direct X 10... there is nothing written to DX10 that anyone wants.

    This all could change, but till it does, XP will be the OS of choice for the vast majority of users.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calm down all you hillarias - Vista is no nightmare

    Hey - I have both XP and Vista. If I had taken all the Vista complaints to heart, I wouldn't have bought my new laptop with Vista Home installed, but I did.

    My laptop has a lower processor speed than my XP desktop and yet my Vista Lap Top is infinitely speedier. In fact, it flies. The Vista laptop has double the RAM of the XP desktop (2 GB), but that is it, as far as hardware improvements are concerned.

    Anybody that would sell Visat Ultimate with only 1 GB of RAM is to blame - not MS.

    I am satisfied with Vista and people should not be afraid to buy it because of all the nightmare stories which abound. They just aren't true, in my experience.

    Vista has many more security safeguards than XP - ASLR, UAC, Secure Login, bidirectional firewall - just to mention a few. In fact, I used it for a week with no security apps installed except the onboard Windows Defender and the Windows Firewall - with no intrusions whatsoever.

    Anybody, that wants Vista but is afraid to purchase it because of all the negativity, should listen to my positive experience.

  19. Tim Butterworth


    I know several people who have a valid licence of Vista, but have not installed it yet - or have installed it, but have given up and gone back to XP. The reason? Vista is still essentially in Beta testing stage.

    When SP1 comes out with its bug fixes and its driver updates more people will wan't Vista. If MS act smart they will also update Vista according to the complaints people have made about the way it works. Vista 2.0 instead of Vista 1.1.

    What will also be holding back Vista is that most companies will not want to use Vista for probably another 6 months to 1 year. They will buy HP or Dell instead for now as they still come with XP if necessary (this is exactly what we have done). Acer should dig their heels in with MS and do what the others did - stop making Vista a definite and make it an option.

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