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Acer rushes for the Cloud

Rain expected

The maker of laptops we will never buy again, Acer has packed its red spotted handkerchief and is heading for the cloud. Apparently the outfit thinks that it is a better idea to start making software and offering online computing services under the heading Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC).

BYOC has been on the drawing board since last year when the company booked a third straight loss after the global PC market shrank 10 percent. This might have had something to do with a particularly nasty curse which winged its way from Italy when a certain laptop broke taking with it a huge wish-list containing an extensive shoe collection. One does not mess with Italian curses.

Company founder and Chairman Stan Shih said at a news conference that the computer was still the company’s foundation, but BYOC is a new platform for integration, cross-compatibility and convenience.

Acer is promoting BYOC as the future of cloud computing by focusing on the so-called Internet of Things, which allows for remote connectivity across a range of devices. In a promotional video, Acer detailed how BYOC will allow users to operate home appliances or automobiles, for example, using smartphones.

Shih said Acer will find partners for BYOC initiatives beyond his previously announced retirement in June.

The chances of Acer making much of an impact in the market when there is more competition than you can poke a stick at are slim. But the outfit has a good supply-chain integration, and might have better cost controls over its data centres than players who have less hardware experience.

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