Is Apple preparing to attack Amazon in the cloud?

Apple wants to be the next big company to be attacked by Poppa Hacker.

Lion Cloud
Lion Cloud
Lion Cloud
Your music is my command... at least until Poppa Hacker says so.

According to reports it appears that Apple is readying a cloud service for the upcoming release of Mac OS X (“Lion”). All the clues are pointing to a “music locker” that would function in a manner similar to Amazon’s Cloud Drive which debuted last month.

AllThingsD (Wall Street Journal tech blog) suggests that Apple has been busy locking down licensing deals with various content partners including Universal Music Group, Sony and Warner.

AppleInsider indicated in a post that a French developer has discovered a feature codenamed “Castle”. The new service which was found in a developer build of Lion would allow ostensibly enable users to migrate content from their MobileMe accounts.

Also, sources report that Apple has paid $4.5M for the domain name (purchased from Xcerion, a company in Sweden).

And let’s not forget that Apple confirmed it’s investing $1B into a massive 500,000 square foot data center.

Add all this this together and the picture becomes pretty clear: Apple wants to be the next big company to be attacked by Poppa Hacker.

Yes, the timing is a little unfortunate.

With the recent, high profile outages at Amazon and Sony (the PlayStation Network is still down almost two weeks after the breach), consumer sentiment regarding storage in the cloud is likely suspect. Trust takes time, and the game is early, but these set-backs don’t exactly instill confidence.

Still, it’s unlikely that consumers will stop streaming movies using services like Netflix and Hulu anytime soon. Plus, we’re talking music files, and other non-critical information… not banking assets. So it’s likely these are merely road bumps along the inevitable journey towards cloud services. Remember: it’s the 1970s all over again. Only this time the “client” is a thin little tablet called the iPad.

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  • Britain Demmick

    Apple will be largely unaffected by the Amazon and Sony fiascoes. The vast majority of people who will use this new service are not tech savvy people who follow technology news. They are mostly computer-illiterate Mac users who will use the service because Apple offers it. Hundreds of thousands of iTunes accounts have been stolen and sold, and it has not made the slightest dent in iTunes use, despite its terrible interface and clunky tethered-only syncing. Many/most Mac users don’t know or care about security breaches; they have a perfect trust in their company of choice.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, Mac users are more computer literate than your average PC user. At least they made a positive choice not to follow the Windows-using sheep, and chose instead to use a robust, industrial strength, and full fledged UNIX system. Check the tech-heavy company employees, and you’ll find a groundswell change to Mac OS X. As for security breaches, do you even have a clue about how much more difficult it is to crack a UNIX system than a Windows system? Why no OS X viruses? Because no injected code can execute with root privilege on a UNIX system without asking the user for a root password. Trojans, of course, can hit any OS if the user is dumb enough.

      Which neatly brings me back to the tech-savviness of Mac users, who typically don’t fall for Trojans, unlike Windows users who make up 100% of the botnet systems that the bad guys gain access to.

      • Britain Demmick

        Are you in the computer security industry? Any system as complex as an operating system can be compromised. This is proven every year at the pwn2own contest where the Mac is the first to fall. The reason for the lack of Mac viruses is tiny market share. And you are really using the term Windows-using sheep? Nice. Name-calling effectively nullifies your argument. Anyway, Mac viruses are completely beside the point. Hacking the “cloud” is the real topic at hand, which has shown over and over to be quite possible. That has nothing to do with the security of the Mac OS.

        More Mac users *consider themselves* more computer literate than many Windows users, that doesn’t mean that they are. Plus, percentages aren’t necessarily an accurate picture, since so few people use Macs, it is much easier to claim a higher percentage of tech-savvy users, whatever that means.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for asking. Actually I’ve been in the computer industry for over 40 years, originally working on LEO III and then System 4/70 systems, through DEC mainframes, Datacenter UNIX systems, and now working on cloud-enabling virtualization technology.

          Yes, any OS can be compromised. All the pwn2own systems have required physical access in order to break them, i.e. not a real life scenario. The Macs fall first because they are the most desirable prize to win, so they get tackled first. If calling names nullifies arguments, then calling Mac users “computer-illiterate” nullifies yours, disregarding the fact that all the surveys indicate the exact opposite, so I guess you started it. The simple fact is that, apart from IBM Mainframes, UNIX systems are as good as you can get for security right now.

          • Britain Demmick

            Wow, I am impressed. You are in your 60’s and still getting personally involved with Mac vs. PC arguments in web forums with kids. :)

            Whatever floats your boat, and a good day to ya!

          • I hear Windows is good for games confirm/deny