It is widely speculated that Apple will be significantly expanding its cloud services with the recent hiring of Kevin Timmons. Timmons was the general manager for Microsoft’s data center services who was in charge of Microsoft’s cloud-based operations, as well as the construction of multiple data centers in recent years.
Cloud-based services have become a standard system for data and processing most notably in consumer services. Both Microsoft and Apple already offer cloud-based solutions including Microsoft’s Windows Azure and Apple’s MobileMe. MobileMe a cloud-based service that includes email, contacts, bookmark and note synching, and file storage, allows users to save their data and information on Apple’s cloud. It is synchronized and accessible across all mac computer products and mobile devices like the ipad and iphone.
MobileMe and iTunes
The timing of the hiring of Timmons also coincides with rumors over the past few months regarding Apple’s newest 500,000 square-foot data center. The $1 billion North Carolina data center project doubled the size of the facility and significantly adds to their cloud-computing capabilities. The additions of the data center and now Timmons, have heated up speculation about changes to the MobileMe service becoming a free service as well as the long talked about iTunes streaming music subscription. Many believe the new data center and the planned development of additional data centers Apple may soon have the infrastructure in place to offer a reliable streaming solution for it’s iTunes and AppleTV products.
Apple in the Clouds
Whatever the exact role Kevin Timmons plays in the ongoing expansion of Apple’s cloud, he will undoubtedly be a key player. Technology heavy-weights from Google, Amazon, Microsoft to small start-ups now utilize cloud-computing for many of their solutions, even though the average computer user may not fully understand the concept. Apple has succeeded in using existing technologies and making it user-friendly and understandable to it’s customers. If it can continue that long line of successes into cloud-based offering, customers will have plenty to look forward to.