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Acer buys cloud computing firm iGware

Acer Aspire One Happy 2 netbooks

Cloud computing is all the rage amongst computer manufacturers, with HP, Apple, Dell, and many others making serious investments in the technology. The latest to jump on board is Taiwan’s Acer, which has just announced a deal to acquire U.S.-based cloud-computing firm iGware. Acer will be paying $320 million for the company, and iGware can pull in another $75 million if it meets performance goals.

“iGware offers expertise in cloud technology software design, with services already deployed on large scale and long-term basis,” said Acer chairman and CEO J.T. Wang, in a statement. “As a mid- to long-term investment objective, the valuable core technology and capabilities will help create uniqueness for the Acer brand, and support a vast number of our users based on open platform.”

Acer plans to leverage iGware’s existing services and systems to launch its own cloud infrastructure, dubbed “Acer Cloud,” as a way to add value to the Acer brand and provide cloud-based services to its customers.

iGware isn’t a household name, but the company’s services are already in many households—under the Nintendo banner, since iGware providers network services for the Nintendo Wii console, as well as the Nintendo DS and 3DS. The company has apparently already been tapped to provider services to support the forthcoming Wii U console.

Once the deal is closed, iGware will legally become Acer Cloud Technology Company, and Acer will set up subsidiaries in Taiwan and China.

In addition to making computers under its own name, Acer also owns Gateway, Packard Bell, and eMachines. A few years ago Acer was the second-largest PC manufacturer in the world, but the decline of netbooks has recently slid to fourth place behind HP, Dell, and Lenovo (respectively).

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