Mon, Jun 03, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Windows 8 to steal show at Computex

BIG PLAYERS:Acer and Asustek are unveiling their new PC products to draw audiences to the more than 50 booths that they have rented at the world’s No. 2 PC trade show

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Global electronics companies are set to showcase a wide selection of new tablets, touch-enabled notebooks and all-in-one computers running Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 during the annual Computex PC show in Taipei this week, one of the show’s organizers, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會), said yesterday.

Windows 8-based PC products, including tablets, notebooks and desktops, are set to account for about one-third of new PC products on display at the fair, while another third are running Google Inc’s Android operating system, TAITRA exhibition department manager Thomas Huang (黃漢唐) said by telephone.

“Taiwanse notebook makers such as Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) have regained confidence in Microsoft over the past few months after the Windows operating system developer vowed to make a greater effort to market its new platform this year,” Huang said.

Huang said that Asustek plans to launch a new convertible Windows 8-powered notebook called Taichi at the show, while Acer is set to display a touch-enabled and convertible ultrabook running the Microsoft system.

Both Acer and Asustek chose to unveil their latest products today, a day ahead of the start of the trade show. The two Taiwanese notebook makers have rented more than 50 booths at Computex to showcase their product lineups, making them the largest exhibitors at the fair this year.

In addition, top executives from technology giants such as Microsoft, Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc and ARM Holdings PLC are to attend the fair and deliver speeches at forums, Huang said.

Microsoft last week said sales and marketing division vice president Nick Parker and chief marketing and financial officer Tami Reller will jointly present the company’s plans to roll out Windows 8.1, an updated version of its Windows 8 operating system, during Computex.

“Microsoft chose to give the PC industry in Taiwan more insight into its Windows 8.1 operating system to strengthen its relation with Taiwanese PC original-equipment manufacturers [OEMs], after many companies embraced Google’s free Android operating system to develop tablets and smartphones,” Huang said.

Huang told the Taipei Times that Microsoft has lowered its commission fee on PC manufacturers “by a substantial percentage” to enable them to lower the prices of Windows 8-based notebooks as they seek to compete with Apple Inc’s higher-priced Macbook series.

“Taiwanese PC OEMs are important partners to Microsoft. Microsoft has become more friendly toward and been more willing to negotiate with PC hardware manufacturers over the past few months,” Huang said, citing Computex exhibitors’ comments in discussions with TAITRA.

“Microsoft’s sales of its Surface tablet were not as strong as it expected. So, it’s a good sign to see the US firm reviewing its strategies and making changes,” Huang added.

According to TAITRA, the five-day fair is expected to attract 38,000 international buyers who could place up to US$25 billion worth of orders with the 1,724 exhibitors.

Forums addressing topics related to cloud-computing technologies, services and applications on mobile platforms will also be held during the trade show, TAITRA said.

This year’s edition of Computex, the world’s second-largest PC trade show, will run from tomorrow through Saturday. It will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center’s Nangang Exhibition Hall, Exhibition Halls 1 and 3, and the Taipei International Convention Center.

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