Tech Weekly: Apple's iCloud Takes Shape

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( APPL) was the week's biggest headliner, launching its iCloud service and a host of other software products at its Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on Monday.

CEO Steve Jobs was the star of the show in just his second public appearance since taking a medical leave of absence earlier this year. Jobs' keynote speech focused on the new iOS 5; Lion, the new Mac OS X; and iCloud, Apple's hotly anticipated cloud-based service aimed to streamline access to user files on all Mac devices.

Among the more interesting tidbits: iMessage, or integrated messaging across all iOS devices that includes the ability to share text, photos, videos, contacts and group messaging.

Much to tech watchers' dismay, there was no word on an iPhone update -- WWDC usually serves as the launchpad for Apple's latest phone iteration. Developers attending the event, however, were unperturbed by the absence of a new iPhone, and were keen to show off their latest apps.

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With investors largely underwhelmed by the company's WWDC announcements, Apple shares ended the week down 1.69% at $325.90.


Elsewhere in California on Monday, Microsoft ( MSFT) announced plans to turn the Xbox into an entertainment hub for the living room.

At the E3 video game show in Los Angeles, the software giant revealed plans to launch voice search capabilities for its Xbox 360 gaming system with the Kinect motion sensing device, giving users the ability to control live television, music and watch YouTube through verbal commands.

Microsoft plans to bring its live television offering to the U.S. sometime next year in an attempt to keep up with rivals Google ( GOOG) and Apple, which also have TV offerings.

Xbox users will be able to access movies and TV on demand from Hulu. Netflix ( NFLX) and YouTube will also be available with the Kinect through the Xbox service.

Microsoft's stock closed down 1.06% at $23.70 on Friday.

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