Acer shifts gears with first Internet service offering

Computer-hardware maker Acer has taken its first step towards building an Internet-based service business with the announcement of a package of services aimed at small companies in Taiwan.

Targeted at companies with fewer than 100 employees, the services on offer from Acer include domain name servers, secure Internet access, file sharing and printer servers, among others, Acer said in a statement. They are being offered on a subscription basis for a monthly fee of NT$6,000 (US$171) and a deposit of NT$18,000, according to Erica Hao, a spokeswoman for the company.

Acer is betting heavily on Internet-based services. Last year, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stan Shih announced that Acer expected to generate 40 percent of its revenue from Internet-based services by 2004, including sales of related hardware. In 2001, less than 1 percent of Acer's revenue came from Internet-based services.

To realize Shih's vision, Acer has announced plans to invest heavily over the next few years in infrastructure, including hardware and software, for Internet-based services, and has expressed a desire to partner with telecommunication and software companies to make these kinds of services available.

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