Acer to buy U.S. cloud technology provider iGware

Acer plans to acquire iGware which builds cloud software for Nintendo's Wii

Acer said Thursday it plans to acquire iGware, a cloud technology company in the U.S., for US$320 million, as part of a plan to allow users to more easily share content across the PC maker's products.

The cloud-based products of iGware in California are currently said to support more than 100 million consumer devices, including Nintendo's gaming devices. Acer will use iGware technology to build its new platform called Acer Cloud, while continuing to service existing customers, and build new relationships, the company said.

It plans to begin launching products that will use Acer Cloud services starting next year. The new platform will allow Acer products, including its PCs, tablets and smartphones, to connect to a "safe and secure environment", it said.

A company spokeswoman said that while Acer's earlier clear.fi technology is designed for connecting devices and sharing in a home environment, the new services will allow for sharing and management of devices over 3G networks.

The acquisition will be completed in September, the spokeswoman said. After the acquisition, iGware will become Acer Cloud Technology Company. The deal with iGware also includes an additional $75 million performance-based earn-out, the company said.

Acer is the world's fourth largest PC maker. But the company has also been working to boost its presence in the tablet and smartphone market. In April, Acer reorganized its product operations and established the company's Touch Business Group to develop mobile devices.

Earlier this week, the company also established a new research and development center in China focused on tablets and smartphones.

Acer's move to acquire iGware is similar to those of some other tech companies, that are trying to leverage cloud-based services to enhance their products. In June, Apple unveiled iCloud, a cloud-based sync and storage service that can keep multiple devices updated with the same content. Music purchased on one Apple device via iTunes will for example be automatically downloaded to any other registered Apple product the user owns.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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