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Acer expects limited contribution from Windows 8 in fourth quarter

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Acer Inc. said yesterday that Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows operating system will not boost its sales revenue in the fourth quarter of this year due to the late launch of the software. “Given that Windows 8 was launched on Oct. 26, I think it will not contribute too much to our sales in the fourth quarter, maybe 5 or 10 percent,” said Scott Lin, Acer's senior vice president and president of its Greater China operations.

Acer is testing the market with its Windows 8 based notebooks and tablets in the fourth quarter, Lin told reporters at the launch of the company's new Windows 8 lineup in Taipei.

He believes most consumers will not adopt Windows 8 until the first or second quarter of 2013 because they need more time to get used to the new software.

With super-thin ultrabook computers accounting for 30 to 40 percent of worldwide notebook shipments, Lin forecast that the PC industry will grow at a double-digit rate in 2013 thanks to the increasing adoption of Windows 8. At an investor conference on Oct. 25, Acer gave a very bearish outlook for the fourth quarter of 2012, reflecting the weak global economy and market demand uncertainties. The Taiwanese PC brand lowered its fourth quarter PC shipment target to slightly above or below 5 percent of third-quarter shipments, compared with its earlier forecast of a 5 to 10 percent growth.

The company also predicted its operating profit margin in the year's final quarter will remain the same level as the third quarter's figure of 0.33 percent. “We remain cautious on Acer's near-term business momentum amid recent PC market softness,” Robert Yen, a Taipei-based analyst at Goldman Sachs, said recently in a report.

“We believe Acer is in a critical transition phase of rebuilding channels it lost in 2011 and creating a business model that includes more premiums and greater product differentiation,” he said.

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