Friday, May 6, 2011

All signs are pointing to the cloud...at least for Apple, that is

Author: Riley Alexander, MD, MBA

Apple's annual WWDC is just over a month away and for the first time in years, it won't be focused on the iPhone (or at least that's what we all think). Apple's not-so-subtle title that it's "all about the software" and continued rumors that the iPhone 5 will see a release in September this year seem to validate this. So, what does that leave for WWDC? Well, it will certainly be focused on OSX 10.7, aka Lion, but we will also likely see the unveiling or future direction of iOS5....and iCloud?

Rumors have been flowing that Apple is set to completely overhaul it's current cloud solution, MobileMe, and rename it iCloud. In fact, some report it to be live and being tested already, at least internally. So what does this represent? Well, being that it appears to be worked into Lion and will certainly be a part of iOS5, it seems that Apple is making it's full-fledged, integrated assault on the cloud. And importantly, it will be free for introductory storage levels. While I've heard that MobileMe is quite good, it requires a paid subscription and with free services like Google Docs, Windows SkyDrive and Dropbox available, it makes it hard to plop down cash for it. Being free, at least for lower storage levels, is definitely important to success.



Additionally, it sounds like it will be a true cloud "drive," per se, and not just a cloud-streaming service for iTunes. This is important because integration is key to making cloud drives work for documents, photos, etc. and is something that has made Dropbox very popular because it has excelled at this. With the massive iPhone user base, expect this to be the most mainstream push of cloud storage yet.

About the author:

Dr. Riley Alexander is a pathology resident at Indiana University School of Medicine, blog "addict" and avid follower of technology. His primary interests revolve around how technology, especially mobile, will create increased efficiency, enhanced physician education and better delivery of care in the medical field. Dr. Alexander is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine with a combined MD/MBA, in partnership with IU's Kelley School of Business. Due to this, he is also very interested in management, healthcare policy and non-clinical aspects of the medical field and enjoys exploring non-clinical opportunities for medical students, residents and physicians. He completed his undergraduate education at IU-Bloomington.

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