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Apple, Google rival over cloud services

Posted: 08 Jun 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cloud computing  online services  Web services 

Apple's iCloud service launch is set to compete with many services Google and others have been offering for some time. Apple has once again enhanced the customer value part of what most of its competitors are doing, and come out looking like a pioneer.

Apple's move follows announcements months ago by traditional rivals such Dell and Hewlett-Packard that are spending big bucks on their own cloud services and Intel which has been helping others launch cloud services as a way to cement customer relationships and lock users into the x86.

The contrast between Apple and Google in cloud is interesting. Apple remains a device company edging into a growing business in online services. Google is just the opposite. Now the two have essentially met in the middle for what will be quite a battle for the hearts and minds of the technorati.

While Dell and HP have announced generic plans to build big clouds, Apple has shown them a way to do it that really helps end users.

Apple has defined a half a dozen solid iCloud services, some of them simply reborn of Apple's failed MobileMe service. Others are fresh and thoughtful—the new iTunes Match service for example, that automates the process of getting all your music from any service in one repository. That's something that users have needed for a long time.

Apple's storage, backup and other music and e-book services are the sorts of things others are already doing or ought to be doing—making all content available on all registered devices from one service. Duh—that's sort of what Web services are supposed to be about.

It's a tribute to Apple's focus on customer value they saw such unmet needs as simply notifying all your devices when new photos are available on any of them. It's also an indictment of the rest of the industry that it has not delivered such simple things widely.

It makes sense now that Apple really wants to drive into offering online services it should bake online capabilities deeply into the gadgets that represent its main business. After all, Apple is the poster boy for vertical integration these days.

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