Cloud Computing: Apple`s iCloud.com Now Live, Kicking Off Cupertino Cloud Push
Apple's iCloud.com Website is now live, but accessible only to registered developers (typing in your Apple ID will return a notice reading, "The iCloud.com Beta is only available to developers). It's the latest step in Apple's wide-ranging cloud plans, which include syncing user content across a variety of iOS and Mac OS X devices. As demonstrated by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his executives June 6 during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, iCloud will serve as an online repository/syncing tool for documents, photos and music. A song downloaded to an iPad will also appear on a Mac, iPod Touch and associated devices. In addition, contacts, calendar and email are now cloud-centric features, with automatic updates and synced messaging. The final version of iCloud will ship along with iOS 5 sometime this fall. With this project, Apple is throwing down the gauntlet to both Google and Amazon.com, which have been building out their cloud offerings for regular users. Amazon's Cloud Drive lets users store documents and music within the cloud, while Google has expanded its cloud offerings beyond productivity to music, courtesy of the recently released Music Beta. Apple clearly intends to leverage its substantial market presence in hardware, software and media to make iCloud workwhich, in turn, could help it 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.