So apparently the big cheese at Acer thinks Microsoft are just giving OEMs a kick up the backside and will pull out of the tablet business as soon as possible. I have to say I really hope this isn't true - the Surface looks to be a unique device well executed and I have no faith in Acer, or anyone else, to replicate it.
If (and that's a pie in the sky if) the OEMs produce worthwhile hardware, I could maybe, possibly see Microsoft pull out (assuming they think that is a better business decision for them, which if the Surface is making money is unlikely). But the article simply says the goal is to " prod device makers to bring out Windows 8 tablets", to which I call BS. OEMs are already falling over backwards to create Win8 devices. They all want a piece of the Apple (err... iPad) pie. They're already trying that with Android devices, but are getting nowhere. They hope a Microsoft device will do better. Every single one has multiple devices they are showing off already. So there's no reason for Microsoft to "prod device makers to bring out Windows 8 tablets". None. What they need is for OEMs to create devices that are compelling. Win8 devices that are nothing more than existing ultrabooks (or worse yet, notebooks) or Android tablets with Win8 thrown on them simply aren't going to work, and Microsoft knows that. I'm willing to bet that on launch day there are 3 dozen Win8 devices available. I'm also willing to bet that the only one that's truly new and unique is the Surface. Given past history with these OEMs, I bet it's not much different than that 12 months down the road.