Asustek Knew of Microsoft Surface Tablet Prior to Announcement

Asustek Computer Inc. (2357) said it was aware of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s plans to develop its own tablet computer prior to the U.S. software maker announcing the product yesterday.

“Our management did learn about that in a later stage” of the product’s development, Nick Wu, a spokesman for the Taipei- based company, said in a phone interview today. “It’s an investment by Microsoft to grow and build the ecosystem for Windows RT and we have no special opinion on that. We will continue to deliver our products.”

Asustek on June 4 previewed a 10.1-inch tablet running Windows RT, becoming the first company to announce a device running Microsoft’s new operating system on chips based around ARM Holdings Plc technology.

Microsoft unveiled plans for its Surface tablet yesterday, with one version featuring ARM chips and another featuring an Intel Corp. chip with Windows 8.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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