TAIWANESE COMPANIES ARE always on the lookout for the next big thing and it seems like this time around they’re taking a stab at cloud computing. The Taiwan Cloud Computing Consortium was established back in April, but only had its first meeting as of yesterday. The TCCC as it’s known as is a co-operation between the government funded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and over 60 local Taiwanese technology companies.
The thought behind it appears to be that Taiwan is great at making computers, including servers, as well as the devices used to access the cloud computing services. The biggest Taiwanese telco has, among others, decided to splash out large sums of cash to develop its own cloud computing solutions for the local Taiwanese market, but that’s not what the TCCC is for.
Instead, the TCCC is meant to help develop solutions for foreign markets and Inventec has gone in with no less than a 61 million USD investment in the project to kick off a data centre for the TCCC members to run trials of both their software and hardware solutions. The data centre has space for 576 servers and “1200 hard drives”. The Taiwanese government is said to invest a further $745 million in developing cloud computing in Taiwan, so there’s obviously some serious money being thrown around.
However, if you’ve ever used software from a Taiwanese company, you’ll know that it’s generally a terrible user experience. For whatever reason, Taiwanese companies seem to lack a fundamental understanding of user interfaces and this will be as important as ever when it comes to cloud based applications. You can throw as much money at a problem as you want, but without a fundamental change in the way things are being approached, this seems like a project doomed to fail before it has even started.
On the bright side it’s possible that some good hardware solutions for cloud computing might come out of this project. The question in this case is how long cloud computing will be the next big thing until focus is shifts to something else and the Taiwanese companies lose interest. Many of the companies that we’ve gotten familiar with over the years in Taiwan are sadly the kind that will only work on products that are new and hip and then drop it as soon as it’s not the latest thing. Server manufacturers might not be as inclined towards doing so and cloud computing will most likely stick around for a few years yet, so it’s not all bad news, but Taiwan better hurry up if they want to get a slice of the action.S|A
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