Apple announces iCloud

Apple announced the iCloud service and for someone like me, this is a great service.

For a while, I have been battling with the problem of having access to common data on multiple computers, whether that be documents, calendaring information, or other documents from multiple computers.

Having access to that data without having to rely on a USB key is a cool thing.

I like their pricing model too: FREE.

What I don’t like is the potential there may be to change that model from FREE to FEE like Apple has done before in the past with the .Mac service, now known as MobileMe.

Now, seeing this service being hosted from Apple, it makes me think about certain things:

  • Can I host something similar to this using my public web servers?
  • Can my dedicated FreeBSD servers offer me something similar using OpenSSL and Samba?
  • Can I actually make something as easy to use as what Apple has?
  • Is there someone out there that already has something similar?

This is an ongoing problem for me so it will be interesting to see Apple’s implementation in action.

I may or may not use it. If I do, I will have a contingency plan in effect since I’m not 100% sure that this service will be FREE forever.

  1. Dropbox is an AWESOME service. I use daily. This is their standard invite (also, if you sign up, I get some extra space!)

    Always have your stuff when you need it with @Dropbox. 2GB account is free! http://db.tt/dgjPr6I

  2. Important point: .Mac was never free, it’s always been a paid service since 2002 when it replaced iTools. The only difference between .Mac & MobileMe was a name change and some different services, the price did not change. The precursor to .Mac, iTools, was free but also provided a lot less functionality.

    I’m happy as well that iCloud will be free, but it’s important to note that it’s free for Apple customers (as far as I know). So it’s not completely free as you need to buy a Mac or an iPad or iPhone to use it. While it’s certainly possible that Apple will someday start charging for it I’m not too concerned about that because Apple’s main competitor, Google, already has similar services that are free. iCloud will mainly compete with free Google services that are used by Android. Competition is likely to ensure that both iCloud and Google services remain free.

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