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Taiwan-based PC maker Acer has reported its second consecutive annual loss. It lays part of the blame for its financial struggles on Windows 8, which hasn't yet caught on with consumers. However, the company said that Chromebooks, which are based on Google's Chrome operating system, are selling well.
Bloomberg's Tim Culpan and Debra Mao reported, "Acer Inc. (2353), the Taiwanese computer maker that’s suffered two consecutive annual losses, posted strong sales of notebooks using Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chrome platform after the release of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows 8 failed to ignite the market. Chrome-based models accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer’s U.S. shipments since being released there in November, President Jim Wong said in an interview at the Taipei-based company’s headquarters. That ratio is expected to be sustainable in the long term and the company is considering offering Chrome models in other developed markets, he said."
"Windows 8 itself is still not successful," Wong told Bloomberg. "The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that’s a simple way to judge if it is successful or not."
CNET's Lance Whitney added, "Acer was stung by an annual loss in 2011 and will post another loss for 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal. Last week, the company announced a $120 million write-off on the value of its Gateway, Packard Bell, eMachines, and E-Ten brands and said it would discontinue its eMachines products."
PCWorld's Jared Newman noted, "Along with Samsung, Acer was the first company to sell Chromebooks in 2011, but the browser-based operating system was still rough around the edges at the time, and the hardware wasn't much less expensive than comparable Windows machines. The software has improved since then, and in November, Acer launched a $200 Chromebook, with an 11.6-inch display, Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 320 GB hard drive."
VentureBeat's Ricardo Bilton commented, "The development is a bit of a vindication for Acer, which seems to be institutionally opposed to anything Microsoft attempts. Acer CEO JT Wang said last August that consumers just weren’t interested in the operating system, and, more notoriously, told Microsoft to 'think twice' about creating the Surface."