As the tech world grapples with one of the most high-profile data breaches in recent history -- and everybody else debates the question, "to view, or not to view?" (answer: don't view) -- a nearly-forgotten PC maker is toiling away to solve a problem that most people have barely put their mind to.
Acer became famous for pumping out low-cost notebooks at a time when people still bought computers, and got a leg up in its path to global No. 2 when it went on a $1.3 billion spending spree that included Gateway and eMachines. Then the advent of Apple's iPad, the array of cloud-based services Cupertino offers, and Acer's inability to adapt to change led the Taiwanese company to its first annual losses and a renovation of its management and strategy.
Stan Shih, who founded the company in 1976 as a contract manufacturer, is chief architect of that renovation. After stepping away for almost a decade, Shih took back the reins at the end of last year and knew immediately what his company needed to do to rebuild. His latest strategy is called Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC), and is built around the idea that instead of saving data on some company's central servers, you can have that information reside on your own hardware in your own home.
With nude photos of celebrities stolen from their Apple iCloud accounts, Shih's vision now seems prescient.