Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is probably dreaming of three screens and a cloud right now, so it makes sense that his company has extended its hand to LG in order to build out the new U+ cloud storage service. Launched over in South Korea, this new service is expected to provide a "seamless connection" between a smorgasbord of connected devices -- everything from TVs to digital photo frames to PMPs to tablets (plus a few we're missing). The goal is to allow any connected device to enjoy the same content, and rather than putting it on each individual consumer to setup their own wireless NAS (or use Air Sync), LG's taking some of the load off while adding a few nifty extras (streaming VOD, anyone?). The standard U+ box arrives with 1GB of storage, but consumers can opt for a 10GB package as well as the ability to access their material across the country via LG's U+ WiFi hotspots. Actual costs don't seem readily apparent, but given that paltry storage maximum, we're guessing the majority of you won't even bother to investigate.
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LG U+ and Microsoft Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Deliver Cloud Services

LG U+ and Microsoft strengthen partnership to accelerate the launch of cloud services in South Korea.

REDMOND, Wash. and SEOUL, South Korea, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. (LG U+) today announced a broad strategic alliance through a memorandum of understanding that will bring to market a range of cloud services for LG U+ customers. Under the terms of the alliance, LG U+ will leverage Microsoft's innovative software platforms and breadth of cloud offerings to enable a connected digital lifestyle and work style for its subscribers.

"We are very excited to be working with LG U+ to bring the convenience and flexibility of cloud services to its end users. We envision a partnership that will help South Korean businesses improve productivity and boost their competitiveness while delivering integrated services across the PC, TV and mobile phone to consumers," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. "The cloud represents a remarkable opportunity for Microsoft and our partners such as LG U+ where together we can connect users to their favorite people, places and things in more seamless ways than ever before."

"We hope that our strategic alliance with Microsoft will result in our customers being able to access information and services with any device," said Sang Chul Lee, vice chairman of LG U+. "LG U+ continuously enhances its offerings to ensure that our customers have the best digital services. We believe the combination of Microsoft's innovative technologies and LG U+'s resources will accelerate the adoption of cloud services, bringing consumers more convenient services and fresh user experiences."

"Today's announcement is a significant step forward in our partnership with LG U+. We believe that combining Microsoft's comprehensive set of cloud infrastructure and services with LG U+'s strong experience in providing network services will result in much richer ways of providing people with access to the information they care about across multiple devices," said James Kim, country manager, Microsoft South Korea. "Initially, the focus will be on providing cloud-based productivity services to a growing number of businesses looking for new ways to control costs while ensuring their people have access to the latest technology."

The alliance intends to offer a range of next-generation services that are simple to install and use and require lower maintenance. By leveraging Microsoft Online Services, LG U+ will be able to deliver enterprise-class solutions and rich user experiences to small and midsize enterprises and consumers through its Smart Workplace offering. Additional services contemplated under the alliance include collaboration on cloud services across three areas, software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service.

Microsoft and LG U+ intend to form joint technical feasibility teams to explore technical feasibilities and business justifications in the areas of converged homes and social mobility, which will ultimately provide a fully converged experience across the PC, mobile phone and TV, bringing end users a connected digital lifestyle.

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