Gianfranco Lanci, the CEO of number-three PC maker Acer, has resigned in the wake of the company’s warning that sales would be off 10% in the first quarter.Although bad PC sales are never good news for Microsoft, his departure might spark a little grin among some folks in Redmond.
That’s because Lanci was the first PC executive to publicly rip Microsoft’s Windows Vista.
In a July 2007 interview with the Financial Times of Germany, he said “the whole industry is disappointed in Vista” and that “stability is certainly a problem.” He also said that Vista was having less positive effect on the PC industry than any other version of Windows in history, and revealed that many business customers were asking for XP instead.
Lanci was just basically saying what the rest of the world was already thinking, but it was a bold step to take as Microsoft was trumpeting Vista as the fastest-selling OS in history. Eventually, Microsoft came around to admit that Vista was less than perfect, and turned around and released the much more stable and usable Windows 7 less than three years later.
Acer is the third largest PC company worldwide (by shipment volume) and number four in the U.S. according to IDC. But the company has suffered steep declines as the low-cost netbook market has imploded. Apple’s iPad and the impending release of other tablets is one likely reason for the decline.