Cloud Computing

Will the Cloud clear the way for Acer?

Written by Dhara Ranasinghe | Reporting by Eunice Yoon
How Acer is embracing cloud computing

It's called 'Build Your Own Cloud' and it's key to the cloud computing strategy that struggling personal computer maker Acer hopes will turn around its fortunes.

The Taiwanese firm's BYOC is a system for users to put together cloud services that manage music and photos using Acer PCs and mobile devices.

"We have a BYOC in place to develop a good user experience," Acer Chairman Stan Shih told CNBC on the sidelines of the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing.

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"Our Acer open platform will become a new niche ecosystem," said Shih, who founded Acer in 1976.

Acer announced on Sunday that Shih will retire next month, not long after returning to the company in November to help revive its fortunes.

The PC maker reported a net loss of $254 million in the fourth quarter of last year. It has reported losses or meager profits every quarter for almost three years, according to Reuters.

Lam Yik Fei | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Its turnaround strategy involves a new plan to integrate hardware, software and cloud services.

Asked what kind of future he saw for the PC, Shih said: "We have to welcome the mobile internet, so I like to put the PC as the cloud data center for the mobile internet devices."

Shih, also known as the grandfather of Taiwan's technology industry, said Acer's cloud computing strategy differed from rivals such as Apple and Lenovo because it was an open platform.

Acer describes this as a system for cloud computing which is reliable, more secure, easy to use and provide users with convenient access to their content.

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"They [competitors] are not open," he said. "We have an open cloud platform for the industry."

Speaking about his retirement, the 69-year old Shih said it was time for new blood to take Acer forward.

"I can play a very important role for some time, but this period of seven months is good enough for the company," he said, referring to the time he would have spent as Acer Chairman.

"My colleagues in Asia will work on the consensus we have for the transformation and they have more energy than me," Shih, who initially left Acer in 2004, said.

"My mission is to help the overall Taiwan industry or the overall economy to move to a more competitive level," he added.