Lenovo Executive Welcomes Microsoft Tablet Competition

The recent move by Microsoft to compete against its computer-maker partners and launch its own tablet PC is a good thing for the market, a senior executive of Lenovo said Thursday at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Gianfrano Lanci, the recently appointed head of Lenovo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division, said Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 tablet wouldn't affect the relationship his company has with the software maker and indeed showed Microsoft's confidence in the new OS.

Microsoft relies on good relationships with companies like Lenovo to launch PCs and tablets using its new OSes and traditionally it hasn't competed with them. By launching its own tablet, it could be taking away business so the move is potentially risky but not, apparently, when it comes to Lenovo.

"For sure it's not going to change the partnership," Lanci said. "I think it's very welcome if other people, including Microsoft, come with Windows 8 tablets. I think it's also proof that they believe in Windows 8." (Watch a video of Lanci's remarks on YouTube.)

"Frankly speaking, I'm much more optimistic and I see from a positive point of view rather than negative point of view like maybe other people. Because it's proof that they really believe that [with] Windows 8 they can really become a serious player in the tablet area as well," he said.

"And to have Microsoft doing that, I think it's a good advertisement for us, the other OEMs, to invest and to do certain things in that area," Lanci said. "We are not negative at all about this move."

Earlier in August, Lenovo announced a new version of its ThinkPad tablet that will run the Windows 8 OS. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 has a 10.1-inch screen and runs on Intel's Atom processor code-named Clover Trail.

On Thursday at IFA, Lenovo added to its tablet line up with several models running the Android OS. They include a model that will directly compete with Google's recently launched Nexus 7 tablet.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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