“Acer and Asustek have been pushing forward in marketing hardware/software-integrated cloud computing solutions focusing on educational applications and web storage, respectively, according to the companies.”
For more than a decade, OEMs have been living with paper-thin margins because they have fairly cheap labour in Asia and many competitors. They have been grumbling that M$ and Intel have been taking the gravy and leaving the OEMs with dirty dishes. The OEMs are mad as Hell and not going to take it any longer. They are already diversifying into ARMed devices, and FLOSS such as GNU/Linux and Android/Linux. Now, they are looking into services. They have a huge advantage, because he who installs the cloud API on the devices gets first crack at selling the customer the service…
Clouds are very competitive. Public clouds are lead by Amazon but private clouds are lead by OpenStack. Either would be usable by OEMs.
Oops! Instead of OEMs working for free for Wintel, OEMs will soon be operating like normal businesses working to please their customers and working for themselves. No longer slaves, they don’t have to take orders from Intel and M$. They will be free. Consumers and businesses may also see the benefit and the last lock-ins of Wintel will fall away.
Services that OEMs can sell this way include file/backup/security/search/web service and anything their imaginations come up with to distinguish them from their competitors. More businesses are using web applications every day and these are easily implemented on the web or in the cloud. Many small businesses may be able to do without servers at all if the OEMs set things up for them reasonably well. That cuts Wintel out of the clients, servers, web applications and cloud services, just about everything in IT. Wintel may be able to “partner” with some OEMs but not all and the OEMs that opt for ARM, */Linux, and FLOSS will have a huge price/performance advantage.
Already, */Linux is doing well in the cloud arena. Intel can, of course compete against AMD in servery but ARM is on the verge of entering in a big way and FLOSS works just as well on ARM as x86/amd64.