Commodity hardware makers get cloud religion at CES

Lenovo wants to be seen as a "personal cloud solution" provider more than a PC manufacturer. Acer also gets cloud happy.

The Consumer Electronics Show has barely kicked off and the outlook is decidedly cloudy.

First Acer outlined its cloud plan, which revolves around basically copying other services. Sync your documents and pictures across devices---as long as they're Acer. Sound familiar? You bet. Acer cribbed everything that Apple, Amazon, Google and others do.

Right after Acer's move. Lenovo launched its "personal cloud" vision. Lenovo's pitch: Bridge four screens including TVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs. Of course, your mileage will vary. For instance, Lenovo's smartphone footprint is limited to China.

Also see: CNET's CES coverage and Join us for Lenovo's CES 2012 press conference (Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. PT) | Lenovo IdeaPad Z, G, and Y series updates focus on better graphics, not much else

In Lenovo's statement, the company pretty much outlines the deal with its cloud service. Hardware companies can't merely make laptops that are a toaster-like commodity. Lenovo wants to be seen as a "personal cloud solution" provider more than a PC manufacturer.

Lenovo's Liu Jun, senior vice president and president of the company's mobile internet and digital home unit, said:

“Lenovo is breaking down the barriers of device differentiation and weaving together hardware, software and cloud services that are connected, experiential and dynamic. We understand our users need more than just the traditional keyboard and screen for a truly satisfying digital experience. Our Personal Cloud vision integrates all devices, from tablets to TVs, for a comprehensive mobile Internet experience anytime, anywhere."

The challenge for Lenovo is simple: CES is already looking cloud happy. These hardware vendors---err personal cloud service providers---are going to cancel each other out.