Acer detailed its push into cloud computing on Thursday, as the computer maker responds to a shrinking PC market by pitting itself against cloud leaders.
Acer premiered its Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) ecosystem at the opening of its BYOC Experience Center in Aspire Park, Taiwan. BYOC is Acer’s new brand for software and online computing services.
Acer Chairman Stan Shih said, "Based on the Acer Open Platform, BYOC crosses platforms and industries and allies with partners to build new applications for a better quality of life. We are calling for partners to join the BYOC ecosystem to develop new technologies and apps, and in the spirit of Wangdao, create value for our mutual benefits."
Acer hopes that the Acer Open Platform (AOP) will help software and hardware developers build their own cloud apps that offer high scalability, reliability, and security.
AOP supports all major operating systems (Windows Desktop, Windows 8 UI, Android, iOS, and Linux) and multiple device types (notebook and desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets and network storage devices).
Acer is also preparing for the integration of cloud technology into all aspect of peoples' everyday lives, including their cars and homes. The company is already investing resources and developing concept products with partners, including apps that record in-car settings and routes of different drivers. To illustrate the trends in smart homes, the BYOC experience center features scenarios showing how mobile devices can easily control home appliance settings remotely.
More BYOC services for enterprise include eBooks, eAuction ( B2B or B2B2C online auction websites for real-time bidding) and eTicketing (purchase online tickets, create a QR code and store in the smartphone for entry to event venues).
For individual users, Acer has launched a suite of Acer BYOC apps (abApps), where consumers can use their own PC as their personal cloud storage. Within this secure environment, users can store, sync, and share their digital data easily across three operating systems, Windows, Android and iOS. The first available abApps for consumers are abFiles, abPhoto, abDoc and abMusic, which are free and offered to non-Acer device owners as well.
abPhoto allows users to take photos on a smartphone or tablet and archive them automatically on their PC. Photos are also pushed to other devices over a wireless or mobile network and can be shared with other users. abPhoto also includes photo-enhancing features, such as Multi-Angle View, Picture with Sound, and Free Focus. The app works across Android, iOS and Windows 8 Tablets.
abMusic enables users to access their entire music collection across multiple devices, by streaming from their PC or downloading onto a specific device. Additionally, songs purchased on iTunes will be automatically added to the user’s music collection for instant access across devices. Android, iOS, Windows Desktop and Windows 8 UI are currently supported.
abFiles2 offers flexibility for sharing and accessing documents. With abFiles users can access all files on their PC from any connected device. abFileseven allows users to remotely convert Office to PDF files and remotely zip/unzip files for sharing through email. Even if a PC is in sleep or hibernation mode, abFiles can wake it up through remote wakeup technology if a file is needed. The app is currently available on Android, iOS, Windows Desktop and Windows 8 UI.
abDocs stores MS Office documents updated in the past thirty days, allowing for instant access to all recent files, even if the user’s PC is switched off or offline. Changes made in any document on any device are automatically synced across all devices. Android, iOS, Windows Desktop and Windows 8 UI are supported.
With BYOC, Acer will enter a fledgling market already so competitive that in March Amazon and Google dropped their prices. In adition, Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard have both revealed cloud investment of $1 billion.