Interesting piece in the New York Times today about Acer -- the company is about to ride the tidal wave of netbooks and other el-cheapo computers straight to the number two spot on the PC sales chart. That's a big deal -- no non-US company has ever made it so high -- and it's interesting that the strategies Acer took to get there are the same things Dell's been trying to do lately: it's heavy on low-cost, stylish laptops and netbooks, it keeps inventory extremely lean, and it relies on an extensive set of retail partnerships in Europe. What's more, the Aspire One has been the best-selling netbook for a while now, and we'd say Acer's way out in front of the CULV thin-and-light race with the Timeline -- in fact, we'd say the only open question here is whether the company can take all this computing success and translate it to something worthwhile in the smartphone space. Based on what we've seen so far, we've got our doubts, but we'll see what those super-secret Android sets look like before we place our bets.