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Acer CEO optimistic about Windows 8.1, claims Microsoft is back 'down to Earth'

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Gallery Photo: Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 pictures
Gallery Photo: Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 pictures

While Microsoft executives have been hinting at the arrival of a Windows 8 update, codenamed Blue, two Acer execs have been voicing their approval of planned changes for the OS. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Acer president Jim Wong explained that Microsoft is making alterations "at a high percentage" rate thanks to OEM input. Arguing that the world is not going 100 percent touch in the next five years, he says "touch makes a lot of possibilities for PCs," but that "you need to take care of the rest of the world that doesn’t need touch" too.

Windows chief Julie Larson-Green dropped big hints about changes for non-touch use of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system recently. Speaking at the Wired Business Conference earlier this week she reiterated previous comments from Windows CFO Tami Reller that Windows 8.1 will include changes based on user feedback. Discussing the potential return of the Start button, Larson-Green said that "there has been meaningful discussion" within Microsoft. Windows 8.1 is expected to include a Start button and boot-to-desktop option.

"... they start to learn how people living on earth think."

Acer CEO and chairman JT Wang is also optimistic about Microsoft's plans. "In the past we consider they [Microsoft] live in heaven," he said to The Wall Street Journal. "But now they go down to earth and they start to learn how people living on earth think." Wang's comments follow his outspoken views about Microsoft's Surface RT tablet ahead of its launch, asking the software maker to "think twice" about entering the hardware market. Microsoft's change of approach follows the departure of former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky in November. Sinofsky was known to aggressively maintain his control over the company's Windows division — making it difficult to execute internal collaboration and product changes.