It was also
reported last week that
(MSFT) recently-departed data center guru Kevin Timmons could end up at Apple. "
Microsoft confirmed with TheStreet that Timmons is no longer working at the software giant, noting that he decided to pursue other, unspecified "career opportunities."
There have already been signs that Apple is planning a cloud onslaught, reportedly spending $1 billion to build a vast new data center in Maiden, North Carolina.Touting cloud-based consumer services is nothing new. Amazon's self-hyped (AMZN) Cloud Drive lets customers store music and play it on their smartphones or computers. The Web giant also debuted two Cloud Players last month, an attempt to challenge iTunes. Barclays Capital's Reitzes, however, thinks that Apple is prepping a much more sophisticated cloud offering, encompassing its MobileMe service for synchronizing different devices. "We believe the launch of Apple's service is much more complex than Amazon's given its millions of users with years worth of files," he wrote. "We look for Apple to use its cloud-based iTunes/MobileMe service to further lock in customers to its ecosystem by making content available seamlessly on all of its devices -- including iPhones, iPads and Macs." Reitzes added that cloud-based content also lets Apple (and other cloud bulls) offer cheaper versions of its devices with less on-board memory. "
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