Lenovo's chief executive called out Microsoft's tablet as "just one more competitor" during a recent earnings call.
Yang Yuanqing said he wished Microsoft had stayed out of the hardware business but still does not see the Surface as a threat. The Lenovo chief executive's words add to a growing chorus of Microsoft criticism from hardware manufactures.
"Although we don't like Microsoft providing hardware, for us, it just adds one more competitor," Yuanqing said when asked about the Surface tablet.
"[Microsoft] is just one of our many competitors. We are still confident that we are providing much better hardware than our competitors, including Microsoft. They are strong in software, but we don't believe they can provide the best hardware in the world. Lenovo can."
In spite of his comments, Lenovo's chief executive was keen to reaffirm the company's interest in the Windows 8 platform.
"Microsoft is still our strategy partner," continued Yuanqing.
"We are very optimistic on the Windows 8 launch so we will fully leverage that to launch our new products."
Lenovo is expected to release its Windows 8-powered ThinkPad Tablet 2 to coincide with the release of Microsoft's latest OS this October.
Yuanqing's comments come as other tablet manufactures have also spoken out against Microsoft entering the hardware business. Acer chief executive JT Wang said in an interview that Microsoft should think its new tablet strategy over before taking the plunge into hardware.
Microsoft also admitted that the Surface could cause friction with hardware partners in its SEC filing from last month. In the filing the company said that its tablet could affect hardware firms' commitment to the Windows 8 OS.
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