Microsoft, LG paired in cloud computing
By Cho Mu-hyun
LG CNS, a Korean firm engaged in software development and information technology outsourcing, plans to partner Microsoft in exploiting the rise in server-based, or cloud computing.
The announcement extended a series of agreements between the U.S. software maker and the technology-focused LG Group, although it remains to be seen whether the two technology giants can produce something larger than the sum of their parts.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, on his first visit to Korea in two years, met with LG CNS CEO Kim Dae-hoon at the InterContinental Seoul COEX where they agreed to jointly develop cloud computing solutions and technologies, LG CNS officials said.
The two companies will also work together on advancing motion-recognition technology they believe will play a bigger part in the everyday computing experience in the foreseeable future.
They first signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2010 to cooperate in the next-generation areas of cloud computing and enterprise computing solutions.
LG CNS is considering joint workshops for engineers of both firms, which could possibly start as early as the second half of this year, a company official said.
``The strengthened cooperation with Microsoft will help us push forward new domestic and foreign projects,” said LG CNS President Kim Dae-hoon.
``The combination of (the respective firms’) strengths such as the extensive know-how of LG CNS in the information technology industry and Microsoft’s global software capacity, will provide new value for consumers.’’
Earlier in the day, Ballmer, who was the keynote speaker for the Seoul Digital Forum, called user interface and cloud computing as one of the things that Microsoft and the ``whole industry’’ were excited about.
``In Microsoft, we think about the evolution of the user interface, we want your system to learn about your interest and your intent,” he said. ``We want machines to serve you every day in your phones and your PCs.’’
“Just as we get excited to (say) maybe that’s the last major breakthrough in this kind of device and user interface, something new comes along.”
Ballmer also expressed a passion for motion sensors and related technologies, which Microsoft and LG CNS are planning to cooperate on.
“We are excited about what the next four or five years will bring: as speech, as vision, as voice recognition as next generation video display and presence and motion sensors (sic),’’ he said.
The renewal of Microsoft’s partnership with LG CNS, which had been seen embracing Google’s software products recently, is proof that the American software giant is looking to become more assertive in the growing cloud computing market. Ballmer, who also attended the same forum in 2006, said that there have been many changes since then and cited Tweeter and Facebook as examples of the fast-paced information technology industry.
Microsoft’s place has change since then too and multiple domestic corporate officials have speculated that Ballmer is looking to push cloud computing in collaboration with Korean firms who excel in the global market in that area.
Ballmer also used the occasion of his speech to promote the company’s Windows 8, calling it a “game changer” and said Korean users will be able to have free trials starting early June.
He met with Korean education officials during the visit as well, as the domestic government is looking into replacing paper textbooks with digital ones by 2015. MS is one of the many foreign software companies looking into offering the Korean government their products.