Cloud Computing: Apple`s iCloud Offers Amazon, Google Competition
Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his executives whipped the curtain back from the long-rumored iCloud during the June 6 kickoff of the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The free service will sync user content and push it to various devices via the cloud. It is integrated with apps, ensuring automatic updates, and it will keep folders automatically updated. In Apple's new world, contacts, calendar and mail are now cloud-centric features, with new messages and updates pushed to associated devices. In addition to productivity features such as email, iCloud will also serve as an online repository/syncing tool for users' documents, photos and music. Now, a song downloaded to your iPad will also appear on your Mac, iPod Touch and other associated devicesincluding PCs. With this new initiative, Apple is essentially throwing down the gauntlet to Google and Amazon.com, both of which have been building out their cloud offerings for consumers. Amazon's Cloud Drive lets users store all manner of documents and music within the cloud. Meanwhile, Google has expanded its cloud offerings beyond productivity to music, courtesy of the recently released Music Beta. Apple can only hope its own iCloud offering lets it wrest some mind-share back from those cloud-centric competitorsand allow it to further advance its vision of a "post-PC world, in which mobile devices such as the iPhone take precedence in users' lives over the traditional PC.