And now it's LG's turn. The electronics giant has confirmed that it is joining other technology companies in providing its own, branded cloud service.
Beginning May 1, the LG Cloud will be released in beta form in some parts of the U.S. and in South Korea. It will be available through the LG Cloud Web site, or through applications on its smartphones running Android 2.2 or higher, PCs with Windows XP or Windows 7 32-bit, or LG Smart TVs with Netcast 2.0 or higher.
LG said in a statement that a key difference for its service is its "Real-time Streaming Transcoding technology." It added that any "conversion happens on the server in real time, not on the device," meaning a user will not have to worry, for instance, about codecs or converters in order to watch a video across various devices.
Users get 5 GB of free storage. If you own an LG smartphone or Smart TV, you can get up to 50 GB for as much as six months, and a structure for paid plans will be announced soon. Content automatically will be synced across registered devices, so that, for instance, videos uploaded to the cloud from a smartphone will be available in the most recent form to the user's LG TV.
It's getting to the point that every respectable technology company now has a cloud service. Recently announced clouds from device makers, for instance, include Acer's AcerCloud, and Apple's iCloud.
Samsung is said to be readying its S-Cloud service, with an announcement anticipated on May 3. There's also Amazon's Cloud Drive, cloud services from HTC and Asus, and a variety of major companies have indicated their support for the open-source cloud operating system, OpenStack.
Google Drive, OneCloud, Dropbox...
On Tuesday of last week, Google announced its Google Drive, followed a couple of days later by the release of version 2 of Box.com's enterprise-oriented OneCloud and the announcement of a variety of new OneCloud partners. Veteran cloud provider Dropbox has also recently announced several updates.
Last Monday, Microsoft announced new options for personal cloud storage on the latest version of its SkyDrive service. The options include new apps for storage and device connection, and the ability to grab a file from a Windows PC via the cloud.
In addition to storage and such functions as conversions, many of the new clouds are touting their available applications and their ability to operate as a platform that it is designed for collaboration and for third-party development. Providers such as the business-oriented Box.com, for instance, offer dozens of applications and application partners, and Google is similarly touting its cloud service as a platform.
To obtain the status of platform, a cloud service generally provides an execution environment, development tools, and an API. To date, LG appears to be focusing more on providing a storage and streaming service, rather than a collaboration and application platform.