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Acer's 8-inch tablet to hit shelves in United States next week

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- PC makers Acer and Asus are actively positioning themselves within the growing PC market, and are rolling out low-priced tablets and notebooks for the rest of 2013, according to a local news source.

Given that the Windows 8 operating system is suffering difficulties in the marketplace, Microsoft plans to launch Windows Blue, its next-generation operating system. In order to attract more sales, Microsoft is willing to compromise on the license fees for notebooks with 11.6-inch or less screens, the report said.

Acer and Asus will begin announcing their product launch schedules starting in May. Acer is scheduled to hold product launch ceremony in New York next week. Analysts predict that 8-inch tablets with Windows 8 operating systems and notebook with Intel's Haswe ll will appear at the event.

Acer will launch the 8-inch Iconia W3 tablet with an Intel Atom processor in Europe, sources said. Acer is also working with Paramount Pictures in the American market. In collaboration with the movie “Star Trek: Into Darkness” to be released in May, they will promote Acer's mobile devices including the Aspire S7 ultrabook, Iconia W5 tablet and Aspire V5 with 10-point touch screens.

Acer plans to hold a product launch event in New York on May 3, which will be chaired by Acer CEO Wang Jeng-tang (王振堂) and Corporate President Jim Wong (翁建仁), showcasing a number of new products. The product launch ceremony will set the tone for other PC makers' product launches for the remainder of 2013, as well as Taipei International Information Technology Show (2013 Computex Taipei) in June, analyst said.

Asus announced at the end of last year that it would give up its netbook product line. However, the introduction of Win 8 has not improved its sales. Microsoft plans to lower the license fees for notebooks with screens 11.6 inches or less. Asus will launch 10.1-inch Asus 1015E notebook, with Celeron processor 847, the performance of which is superior to that of the Atom processor which is common among netbooks, according to analysts. The price is set to US$299, and analyst suspects that Asus would re-enter the netbook market.

Notebook makers are actively positioning themselves within the PC market, which is currently in recovery, analysts indicated. In addition to tablets, both Intel and Microsoft have been launching new platforms or updating their operating systems, as well as offering special discounts to other players in the PC supply chain. In addition to low-priced tablets, low-priced notebooks will be the focus of the PC market for the latter half of 2013, analysts said.

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