Acer: A Global Powerhouse

Taiwan's titan in PCs and peripherals aims to take the lead in the new market for intelligent consumer gear

Dixon Cheng steps out of his office in the cluttered executive suite at the Taipei headquarters of Acer Inc. and leads a visitor down a hall past cubicles where engineers sit hunched over projects. "It's right here," says Cheng, Acer's vice-president for information systems, as he squeezes around an awkward partition. An engineer seated on the floor hooks a simple white box to a television set and flicks it on. Three squares appear on the screen: "Basic Net," "Games," and "Windows." Using a remote control, he selects "Basic Net," and Acer's World Wide Web home page appears. Returning to the menu, he clicks on a different square, and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 3.1 pops up.

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