Taipei - Acer is getting into the cloud-computing business to compete with the likes of Amazon.com and Google.

The difference is the maker of notebooks wants you to host the service on your own personal computer.

The Taipei-based company says its private cloud offers more security than rival services that store information on off-site servers.

Acer’s software to operate a personal cloud is free and compatible with a wide variety of smartphones, tablets and computers, according to the company.

Facing a third straight annual loss, co-founder and Chairman Stan Shih came out of retirement to help lead a revival at the business as demand for PCs slumps.

Amid the company’s $691 million loss last year, the fledgling cloud services unit was a lonely bright spot, turning a small profit.

Shih spoke in an interview with Bloomberg News.

“I’d like to see more than 50 percent of profit from non-PC as quick as possible,” Shih said, referring to the company’s cloud-computing business.

That cloud services unit generated NT$1.3 billion ($43 million) in revenue last year from clients including Bank of America and UBS, said Rex Wu, a vice president at the company.

That’s less than 1 percent of Acer’s NT$360 billion in revenue for the year.

The market for the so-called Internet of Things -- which ranges from Web-enabled home appliances to centrally linked industrial equipment -- is estimated to generate $8.9 trillion in revenue by 2020, up from $4.8 trillion in 2012, researcher IDC reported in October. - Bloomberg News