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Apple Creating Cloud-Based Mac?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the how-many-fps-doom dept.

Technology 204

hostedftp writes "In speculation news making the rounds — Apple's recent activities in the Cloud has been leading to conclusions of the what the innovative giant plans to unleash in 2011. The most recent news of Apple applying and securing a patent for a network-boosted OS has made speculators believe Apple is going to launch a Cloud-based operating system for the Mac."

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204 comments

The Book of Jobs (-1, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766102)


And St. Jobs spake thus "Release the iCloud Unified Networking Topology.
And it was good.

St. Jobs was gay and magnanimous. His works doth bring joy and KoolAid of Orange to his flock.
Much loved was he.

St. Jobs thus commanded "Bring forth sweaters of turtles and necks and blackness."
And his wish was fulfilled.
"Let only I be the one to don such garment!"

And a young boy in the throng proclaimed "St. Jobs is without clothing!"
St. Jobs lay hands on the boy which caused great convulse.
The boy cried out "Let me drink of ye KoolAid!"

And St. Jobs smiled as yonder Cap of Market topped 300 billion shekels.

Re:The Book of Jobs (5, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766268)

iCloudOS

Features include -

  . Everything is rented. Why get fleeced once when you can get fleeced monthly. Yes its crazy but aren't fleeces warm and fluffy like how you feel buying Apple products. You get regular updates on all your software like before but now you're paying. You get go keep paying to access the media you used to own. And the best thing is that even if you dont upgrade your iAppliances regularly you still get to keep paying.

  . iAppliance based. Run your iApp (be it movie player, image editor, skype or game) on any of your iPad/iPod/iPhone/iMac/iMini/iWhatever. Talk on your iPhone then when you get to work it shifts to your iMac. Play an iGame iApp on your iPad and when you get home shift it to your 42" iTV iAppliance.

  . Safety. Our walled garden is totally secure. All your interactions are done through iApps.

  . Legacy. If you really must access that dirty web with all its flash we route all your traffic through our content network. We filter it for all that bad stuff like porn, bittorrent and independent thought.

Admittedly the iAppliance bit is nice but mine is Ubuntu/Android based.

Re:The Book of Jobs (0, Troll)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766538)

Everything is rented. Why get fleeced once when you can get fleeced monthly.

Expect Microsoft and everybody else to copy this right away and get on with the fleecing.

iAppliance based. Run your iApp (be it movie player, image editor, skype or game) on any of your iPad/iPod/iPhone/iMac/iMini/iWhatever. Talk on your iPhone then when you get to work it shifts to your iMac. Play an iGame iApp on your iPad and when you get home shift it to your 42" iTV iAppliance.

In the 80's and 90's, Xerox used to call that ubiquitous computing [wikipedia.org] . And, it's actually a cool idea if it ever happens.

Safety. Our walled garden is totally secure. All your interactions are done through iApps.

When Microsoft steal this idea, you will be locked in the garden with the land-mines and kept in with razor-wire. Walking on the grass will be prohibited [wikipedia.org] . Occasionally, wolves will get in.

The reality is, everybody is likely going to try this. The user experience and amount of lock-in will differ. I bet MBAs all over the world are salivating as to how they can move absolutely everything to a subscription model, and if you stop paying, you lose all of the data you've ever had. Don't think this is unique to Apple.

Re:The Book of Jobs (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766754)

In the 80's and 90's, Xerox used to call that ubiquitous computing [wikipedia.org]. And, it's actually a cool idea if it ever happens.

It is a cool idea but I just dont agree with it being cloud based. I'd rather have my own hub at home so I get to control my media and data. I'd only use cloud for off-site backups.

Re:The Book of Jobs (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766880)

I'd only use cloud for off-site backups.

And, really, only if it was heavily encrypted.

Under the Patriot act, they can basically force US owned companies to hand over anything they like. As a result, companies here in Canada often can't use something hosted in the US (or owned by a US company) as it basically violates our legal protections. Nothing from the Federal government can go there, and likely some kinds of business run risks.

If you put data into the cloud, you lose control over who has access to it -- especially with multi-national companies being involved. If your data lands in a place where the government has given themselves ready access, there's nothing you can do to stop it.

Companies putting data into the cloud do so at some risk.

Re:The Book of Jobs (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766988)

Same thing with the provinces. Microsoft keeps asking us to try their cloud stuff, and we can't find something that we can legally put there due to poor US laws.

Re:The Book of Jobs (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767052)

Off-site cloud backups would be great for media, game scores & settings but obviously not anything private.

Cue the re-opening of SeaLand as an off-site data store until the next 'fire'.

Re:The Book of Jobs (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767022)

Occasionally, wolves will get in.

rotfl. that has to be one of the most entertaining analogies I've read in quite awhile.

more like cloud boot iCrap (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766132)

idevices are 2/3 of apple's revenue. Mac's are like the bastard step kids that no one cares about anymore

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766176)

idevices are 2/3 of apple's revenue. Mac's are like the bastard step kids that no one cares about anymore

yeah but it's been a while three minutes... time to mention CLOUDS again!

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766216)

Slashdot needs a new cloud icon to put beside stories like this.

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766292)

How about 'fecal_mass.png'

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766846)

They need an ass puffing out that cloud too.

Not everything will be "better in the cloud". If you disagree, I respectfully challenge you to a game of fart-tag.

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766324)

Maybe Clouds Have Feelings, Too by Kandi

The evening starts out quiet
As quiet as ever could be
But suddenly a stormy night
Becomes a reality
The clouds dump out tons of rain
And it falls so very fast
Then suddenly its clear again
And you see the moon at last

Theres so much mystery about the sky
About its ever changing moods
But most people dont realize
Maybe clouds have feelings, too.

When theyre sad, they cry,
And it falls on us as rain
When theyre happy, theyre white
And the tears stay away

So next time you look outside
And the sky is no longer blue
Dont get mad, just understand
Maybe clouds have feelings, too.

http://www.sffworld.com/authors/k/kandi/poems/maybe.html [sffworld.com]

I just wanted to add some culture to the inevitable flame war.

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766302)

idevices are 2/3 of apple's revenue. Mac's are like the bastard step kids that no one cares about anymore

You forgot: DeviceBook, DeviceBook Pro, Device Pro, iDevice Touch, iDevice Classic, iDevice nano and the iDevice shuffle.

But I guess they'll have the iDevice Cloud and the Device Pro Cloud soon too. And then maybe the iDevice Touch Cloud?

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (0)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766646)

Except that macs are central to Apple's product portfolio, as the one and only development platform for iOS. Without macs, no iApps. Without IApps,...

I'll start worrying about macs closing down when they put out a cloud-based or Windows-based app development platform.

Re:more like cloud boot iCrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766668)

Except that the bastard kid would be a fortune 500 company in his own right.

Tim Wu Was Right? (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766170)

Assuming these predictions are accurate, the end of the article reminded me of Tim Wu predicting Apple is the number one threat to internet freedom [hostedftp.com] :

Commentators believe the patent could allow Apple to create a subscription-based cloud OS that gives it more control over its users.

More control over its users.

On top of that, this whole cloud privacy relationship concept needs to be addressed -- especially when people see commercials [youtube.com] advocating it without fully explaining that your photo, data, computations, whatever are being moved to and performed on other machine external to yours. That single Microsoft commercial has further muddied up how people understand what the cloud is.

I applaud Apple for their foresight and innovation in this but I see it in line with Tim Wu's fears of Apple further controlling your data and information. I'd have the same fears with Chrome OS and Windows utilizing a cloud of computers just the same. This ideal of executing what you want on your hardware in your property seems to be dying. And with it, privacy or any desire thereof.

Expanding , not dying (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766344)

This ideal of executing what you want on your hardware in your property seems to be dying.

It's not dying, and will never die.

What is happening instead is that consumer choices are EXPANDING. Expanding to included choices where they really can have computers that are more secure and managed - as a side effect, they are also locked down. But it is a choice that I think is good for people to have, because most people simply cannot manage computers.

On the Mac, soon, you'll have a choice to get applications from anywhere - or to get them from a central source that is somewhat vetted, and furthermore ends the hodge-podge of software update mechanisms to one where you get updates when they arrive without fuss. That's a huge boon to most people.

Just Like Facebook: Act First, Ask Later (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766512)

What is happening instead is that consumer choices are EXPANDING.

I liken it to Facebook's many privacy debacles [slashdot.org] . First let me explain how Facebook -- and I really think this is all Zuckerberg -- works. They want to increase information flow on Facebook. Even private information. But they realize that if they give the user a choice nobody's going to 'take the plunge' and the feature will largely be left as opt-in but never used. So they make it automatic and they deal with the privacy issue after it's been activated across the board. They put on a show about how they hear the users and now you have an option to disable that but it's not disabled because people have been living with it for a couple weeks and by and large nothing seriously bad has happened -- yet. A good example is the news feed debacle [wikipedia.org] that caused users outrage and protests. But now everyone uses it. How did that happen? More importantly: could it have happened at all had not Zuckerberg stood up and made a decision for hundreds of millions of users? I think that answer is "no."

When I see the Windows commercial, I don't see an option. I see a feature. I see a feature like Facebook's News Feed. It's being marketed as a feature of Windows 7. The woman is using Windows 7 and then she says "To the cloud" real James Bond like and suddenly we're "in the cloud." And that's Windows 7. People then want that. There's no "I just need to upload my photo to Google's Picassa" or any sort of steps warning the user what exactly is happening in the background. No, it's all streamlined feature rich marketing crap. Are they explaining this can be disabled? No, we'll do that later. Where's my data? Who cares? You're in the cloud, you're sexy, you're hip -- privacy is old school for the squares!

On the Mac, soon, you'll have a choice to get applications from anywhere - or to get them from a central source that is somewhat vetted, and furthermore ends the hodge-podge of software update mechanisms to one where you get updates when they arrive without fuss. That's a huge boon to most people.

Okay but this isn't the cloud, this is just a really streamlined distribution service. Am I the only person that wants to have two columns for the Pros and Cons of using a cloud based service as the basis of your home operating system!?

Shifting, not expanding (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766548)

Crow that line all you want -- it could easily be a paradigm shift.

For that to happen, the platform would have to be hugely attractive initially and hugely profitable in the medium term.

Investors seek out growth, not a steady state.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766400)

This ideal of executing what you want on your hardware in your property seems to be dying.

I don't know, I mean most people just are not aware of the privacy risks involved in things like facebook. News stories about it might tangentially impinge on their awareness for a moment, but it doesn't matter to them, and maybe they are right to an extent - in all likelihood it will never affect them. However any commercial groups or companies I am aware of are most definetely not leaping aboard the cloud bandwagon, much preferring to keep their operations in-house. Also phones and to a lesser extent netbooks and ipads haven't really got the horsepower to keep everything local, so that might be why we're seeing them being treated as terminals, but eventually they will get both the storage space and processing power to keep apps and data on hand, and the pendulum will swing back again.

Besides, you don't have to use Apple's services, or anyone's really.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766428)

On top of that, this whole cloud privacy relationship concept needs to be addressed -- especially when people see commercials [youtube.com] advocating it without fully explaining that your photo, data, computations, whatever are being moved to and performed on other machine external to yours. That single Microsoft commercial has further muddied up how people understand what the cloud is.

I applaud Apple for their foresight and innovation in this but I see it in line with Tim Wu's fears of Apple further controlling your data and information. I'd have the same fears with Chrome OS and Windows utilizing a cloud of computers just the same. This ideal of executing what you want on your hardware in your property seems to be dying. And with it, privacy or any desire thereof.

Can anyone who's a lawyer comment more on the legal ramifications of moving to the cloud? It was my understanding that currently, courts treated data hosted off-site as not requiring a warrant to be accessed, unlike when it's actually hosed on someone's own property.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766920)

I don't actually know the answer to your question, but I have to say that part of me thinks that anyone storing data relevant to their potential criminal prosecution in the "cloud" kind of deserves what they get :-)

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766466)

>>>More control over Mac users.

And of course MS also controls its users (via windows, office, etc). I miss the days when we had alternatives like Atari and Commodore to buy hardware.

>>>I applaud Apple for their foresight and innovation

Recycling an old idea from the 1980s (cloud software on a central server; lightweight terminals in front of the user) is innovative? No. Although I guess you could call it "green". ;-)

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (3, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766534)

Perhaps that ideal is only really of interest to the subset of users who actually understand and enjoy tinkering with computers, and the vast majority of the market has been using general-purpose computers for some time that complicated & difficult to maintain, when they really *wanted* an appliance all along?

There will still be people who own, use, and tinker with general-purpose computers. They'll be the people who design, build, and program the appliances that the other 95% of the population uses.

What's funny to me is that everybody seems to be ringing the alarm over Apple, rather than Google, in this space. Apple creates the hardware, and uses the software (this supposed "cloud os") as a means to sell those devices. Google creates software (ChromeOS), and uses that software as a means for delivering ads to you - it doesn't make money from YOU, it makes money from *advertisers*. Who has more access, desire, and interest in being able to conveniently harvest all your data from the Cloud? Apple *could* move more into advertising than their foray into iAds, but their goal is first and foremost, to sell the devices. Google, on the other hand, exists to capture data about you & use that data to present you with ads.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766718)

Here's the problem. Industry is more likely to cater to the 95% than to the 5%. So if you are in that 5%, this locked-down-device movement will deprive you of what you currently have easy access to. Heck, with economies of scale, it may only be a matter of time before only 5% of users can even afford the open-and-flexible computers. (And that subset of users may have little overlap with those that actually want said access. Just remember back when computer illiterate doctors/lawyers had the best PCs, and the geeks got by with whatever little hardware they could scrounge up.)

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766928)

Sorry, but this makes no sense. What were the computer-illiterate doctors and lawyers running on their "best PCs available" if no geeks had any computers to write software with?

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766940)

> Here's the problem. Industry is more likely to cater to the 95% than to the 5%

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". It isn't a problem that the market caters to the 95%, rather than the 5%. It's a *good* thing, and it means the market is working as it should. It means more people are getting what they want: in this case, a simple appliance, rather than a complex machine they have to back up and know how to manage and update and whatever.

People don't *want* to do all those complex things. They just want to use their damn computer. That's what most people want, so it's quite OK if the market caters to what the vast majority want. Your mistake is thinking that catering to what most people want is a problem.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767120)

Unlikely. They need us to feed the masses fart apps. I'm being a bit silly, but the point is real. One of the hallmarks of these locked down devices is their inability to be used in writing and compiling their own software. Third party software is as much a feature of iPhone or Android as the part written by Apple or Google. Witness the incalculable number of "there's an app for that" commercials.

General purpose PCs will become less common in the coming decade I think, but they will remain a large market. Programmers, designers, engineers of all stripes, media people (photo, video, or audio)... They are all greedy for either control, power, storage, screen real estate, or some combination of the four. Such people will always form a large niche market for more powerful and open systems. Apple systems already cater to several of those demographics, I don't see them in particular or computers in general leaving such a large and potentially lucrative market behind. After all, the majority of people who really need power and control are either professionals of some sort, or the type of hobbyist willing to invest cash in their hobby (I should know, I shudder to think how much money has gone into my wife photography habit over the years).

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766774)

Google creates software (ChromeOS), and uses that software as a means for delivering ads to you - it doesn't make money from YOU, it makes money from *advertisers*.

Well stated! It will forever confound me that Google gets such a pass from the otherwise intellectually stingy slashdot crowd.

Google sells ads. Apple sells hardware. I can opt out of the hardware.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767016)

It's pretty simple why Google gets a pass. Google makes Android. Android competes with iOS. iOS is made by Apple. Apple is evil, therefore Google is good.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766636)

The idea of everyone doing anything they wanted on their own hardware has always been a pipe dream. Most people will never have the skills, time, and resources necessary. In order to make something easy and have any level of security, it has to be under tight control. People need someone reliable to do it for them. Getting it to them inexpensively requires a very controlled environment and a large company that can handle massive scaling.

Otherwise, people have always been free to spend loads of money on hardware and consultants to set it up for them. That is extraordinarily unlikely to change. It is also extraordinarily unlikely that most people can ever have the ability to do *anything they want* *on their own hardware* cheaply, easily, and securely. It's not Apple, Microsoft, or anyone else imposing this limitation. It is the limited skills and resources of the person. Most people aren't even remotely capable of doing what they want on their own hardware even given the proper software. Even highly proficient programmers constantly rely on the work of others in a tightly controlled environment *just in order to make things work*.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766822)

> Apple further controlling your data

To most people this is a FEATURE. People want the safety and security that comes from having a trusted party manage their computers for them.

This is the #1 key thing that Linux users don't get. Linux people tend to want to learn all about how their computer works and have fun dealing with "managing" it. But very few people want that. Most normal people just see it as a tool, and if someone else will change the oil and the spark plugs for them, then that's even better.

Look, you could perform all your own car maintenance too, but very few people do that either. They'd rather just take it to the shop for half an hour every once in a while and pay someone else to change the oil for them. This doesn't mean that they're letting the shop "control their car". It means that they see the shop as providing a *service*.

And it's the same way here, except to a few ultra-paranoids who think that everything is all about "the man controlling our data". Sorry, it just isn't. Apple doesn't give a crap about your data. They're just providing a service that the average guy who isn't a technophile *wants*.

And that's why Cloud computing will take off. Technophiles have a 100% track record of being wrong about these things, because they don't understand that almost nobody else values what they value.

Re:Tim Wu Was Right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34767010)

I can say with absolute certainty that the number one threat to Internet freedom (and freedom in general) are people who don't value freedom. They aer the ones who fund various technological approaches to reducing it.

This is why (0, Offtopic)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766174)

This is why marijuana is bad for you. It allows people to come up with even more stupid thoughts than they can do on their own without the use of mind altering drugs.

That data center is for a revamp of Mobileme(a product that should be free), as well as storage for the new Mac App store.

Even ChromeOS which runs in the cloud, really is a cloud based OS. The OS is on the hardware which access the cloud for Data. All of it from Websites that already have that data.

Re:This is why (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766798)

That data center is for a revamp of Mobileme(a product that should be free),

Why should a company provide something to you for free? I prefer paying and getting no ads to free-but-ad-inundated services.

cloud based... what the heck does that mean anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766178)

Why does everything have to do with networking need to have the word "cloud" in it? Argh!

Re:cloud based... what the heck does that mean any (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766254)

I'm going to name my next child "Cloudy McCloudster" ... come to think of it I better go register that domain right now.

Re:cloud based... what the heck does that mean any (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766338)

cloud based... what the heck does that mean anyway

We used to call them X-terminals.

Diskless, boots off the network and connects to a central machine. In this case, the "central" is "distributed", and it may or may not have a disk.

In short, the finest technology from the 80s is back. :-P

Re:cloud based... what the heck does that mean any (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766432)

cloud based... what the heck does that mean anyway

We used to call them X-terminals.

Diskless, boots off the network and connects to a central machine. In this case, the "central" is "distributed", and it may or may not have a disk.

In short, the finest technology from the 80s is back. :-P

We called them 3270 terminals. Connect to a local cluster controller(more or less a stat mux, not a heck of a lot more), then to a NCP, then via VTAM back to the mainframe, probably a system 370 series although memory fades with time. Oddly enough that is exactly the same config I had in the mid 90s except they emulated the 3270 on PCs, mostly.

In short, the finest technology from the 70s is back :-P

Re:cloud based... what the heck does that mean any (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766602)

In short, the finest technology from the 70s is back :-P

*laugh* Why, yes. Now someone will likely point out that back in the 60s they had this as well.

That, or that they didn't have terminals in the 60s, and they had to toggle in the boot sequence on the front of the machine before they could even begin to start feeding the punch cards. Up hill, both ways. In the dark. And they had to get their own firewood to fire up the tape drives. ;-)

Re:Finest (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766438)

But look at the Graphics of Tron Legacy!
Oh - sorry - you meant Apple's equally slick graphics!
Just don't think too hard what it all means.

Re:cloud based... what the heck does that mean any (1)

Paspanique (1704404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766482)

Yes and expect clouds to be pushed very hard by all those who want to control what you see, hear or write on the web.

  The only the will ever be able to control what you do, is by using central repository & computing power.

Re:cloud based... what the heck does that mean any (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766682)

Nah, dumb clients won't come back soon. What I can imagine, though, is an OS where your disk image resides on a server somewhere, at your local client just caches it. You could argue that's not much different than, say, linux today, since almost all software originates from the network anyways. But using a caching infrastructure would create a presumption that the device software is updated every time at boot.

What does that even mean? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766184)

Since the blog talking about the cloud has seemingly dissipated, I have to wonder what a "Cloud Based OS" even would mean, if that's even a thing.

To put things in more practical and less obscure speech, I think what it means is that something very like Dropbox will be more integrated into the system - and that possibly Apple will offer something like network based backup of application data for iOS devices.

To me the "cloud" of any value, basically ends up being network storage of some flavor.

Re:What does that even mean? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766256)

I have to wonder what a "Cloud Based OS" even would mean

Sounds like it boots up via PXE from some cloud storage.

Benefit? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766458)

For company use I can see some benefit.

For home consumer use, I can't see the return a user gets for relying on something like this. Especially not as people move to laptops which are not connected all the time. Sure you can cache for there's nothing more obnoxious than having MOST applications cached only to find the one you really wanted to use, was not cached just as you are getting into your international plane flight...

Re:Benefit? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766732)

For buisness use, I'd love to eliminate the local hard drives of my users. They're one of the most common parts to fail, and the local OS gets corrupted all the time (only the cheap ass power supplies we use fail more). There should be an immutable network copy of the OS that they load at boot time. And installing applications should be as simple as copying an image onto your server and setting the licensing information. Actually, I'd run the same setup at home, too. My wife and kid trash their copy of Windows far too often. At least Windows 7 is easier to lock down and run as non-admin than XP was.

Indeed. (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766320)

Since the blog talking about the cloud has seemingly dissipated, I have to wonder what a "Cloud Based OS" even would mean, if that's even a thing.

Yeah, it sounds really nebulous.

Re:Indeed. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766340)

Well, it would be like an 80s net boot Unix but with all of the added fun of trying to do this over the Internet.

Re:Indeed. (1)

johneee (626549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766528)

My internet connection is faster than any of the network connections that were prevalent in the '80s.

The requirements for what would need to go over the wires has changed, but whatever... The fact remains that I can access a terminal over the internet now at much higher speeds than I could have done over local connections back then. I could actuall

Re:Indeed. (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766956)

That may be true, but despite the networks being faster, are they faster proportionally to what they were transferring? I don't know how fast 10-base-2 ethernet went back then, but as a soft science comparison, DOS 6.22 fit on three floppies. Ubuntu 10.10 fills a CD-R. Yes, I know the latter can (and likely would be) trimmed down, but the general point I'm making is that while networks have gotten faster, there's more data that will make use of those speeds.

Re:What does that even mean? (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766410)

The whole point of this "cloud" thing is that nobody knows. It means precisely nothing. Microsoft's "cloud" commercial is a great example, because most of what she's doing has exactly nothing to do with "the cloud" at all.

The important thing is that making sure "cloud" appears in the ad at least five times provides Buzzword Compliance. In the case of this Apple whatever it is, "cloud" features even more prominently and thus provides more Buzzword Compliance.

Now if they can create a special iCloud(TM) inside the Steve Jobs reality distortion field, they'll be set.

Re:What does that even mean? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766484)

I have to wonder what a "Cloud Based OS" even would mean, if that's even a thing.

They already have a perfectly good cloud app for data and small amounts of media.. Probably means you download your apps off the network. Probably use your local hard drive as something of a cache.

In unix terms youd probably mount a FUSE file system as root, and every time you access anything it tries to check "/nfs/cloudy-with-a-chance-of-segfaults/whatever" to see if a new version exists, and if so, copies it into your cache. And probably tries to save a "backup" on both the local drive and the nfs mount.

Of course they'll use some crazy appletalk over TCP interface instead of NFS, but the idea seems obvious.

Re:What does that even mean? (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766560)

In addition to a Dropbox-like service, it seems reasonable for Apple to fully integrate MobileMe into the next version of OS X, and as you mentioned backup/sync for iOS seems obvious. They might even extend that service to the Mac App Store.

Considering the upload speed and reliability of typical residential broadband, I also don't see what the cloud offers end users at this point beyond limited storage and syncing. Anything else would raise privacy concerns, waste bandwidth, and—perhaps most importantly—detract from the "native app experience" that Apple so cares about.

Re:What does that even mean? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767108)

To me the "cloud" of any value, basically ends up being network storage of some flavor.

This looks to have a significant portion of it as remote processing. Thinking more like the dumb terminals we used to have at the university.

This could really have its up-sides. After you've made the initial investment at your end, getting the keyboard,mouse,printer,display, then if you want to upgrade later you can just spend a little money on an upgrade to your service. No need to physically replace the machine, and cheaper to boot. No outdated computer going to the landfill. No need to even install software, just buy it and its instantly available, on ALL your machines. And your data also available at all your locations at once.

This is an interesting move, because in the past Apple has always been a hardware seller. They make a great OS but almost give it away, to sell their hardware. This isn't their first move into selling software for profit, (aperture, final cut, server, app store) so should be interesting to see how it pans out.

Uh, no. (3, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766212)

It reminds me of an old (and unintentionally hilarious) Crucial memory ad: "Your computer...at Internet speed!"

Oh no. (-1, Redundant)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766222)

not that

Re:Oh no. (-1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766398)

(-1 redundant)
How can that be? I posted my message first.

Re:Oh no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766500)

That's not how that works. It's whoever's post they see first, the others are redundant. It sucks, but it's your own fault for not being able to foresee somebody else posting the same thing.

Apple is more likely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766238)

...to offer additional processing capabilities via the internet for iOS devices running professional level software, aka "dumb tablet terminals" with their own A4 processors and phase out the Intel based open Mac's we have all come to love and enjoy. The walled garden gets even more walled in.

Oh well, Windows 7 and Linux here we come.

"Bootcamp" and the "MacAppStore" was the obvious signs the Woz effect has worn off the Jobster.

License fee for OS per Year? (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766242)

It is the dream of all software companies to get products that generate recurring revenue indefinitely. Looks like this might fit that bill.

Re:License fee for OS per Year? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766546)

Depending upon the implementation, that's not necessarily such a bad thing. One of the problems with OSes is that once you've paid for it, that's the revenue they've got for patching it and providing the next upgrade. Whereas with a subscription model they could provide continuous upgrades for the same price.

And probably even allow XP users to keep using it indefinitely, or until the number of users gets to be small enough that it's not possible to continue support.

Of course there is the downside of not being able to use the OS after the subscription expires, but it's not really worthwhile to dismiss out of hand. It's also something that would work well alongside the more traditional model.

Re:License fee for OS per Year? (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767024)

Call me paranoid, but what I fear about having what amounts to a support contract become a required cost are the following two scenarios:

1.) $OS_COMPANY, be it Apple, MS, Red Hat, whoever, takes your money and DOESN'T provide support or patches.

2.) The cost steadily goes up, and as the applications that run on top of the OS are purchased, the question every month becomes whether to call it quits and cut your losses with the apps and data you have, or pay what can easily amount to charging more because they know you'll pay it.

The REAL issue with point #2 is that providing that kind of support can get VERY expensive. There are still a handful of NT 4.0 servers floating around out there. How much do you think it will cost to write an IPv6 stack for them? Do you charge separate for that?

It's a can of worms. Call me a dinosaur, but I *LIKE* having my copy of Office 97 sitting on a disc for my reference at any point without having to ask Microsoft pretty please to let me do it. Will I ever actually do that? probably not. Will I be pissed if at some point I can't? you bet.

Not worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766294)

I'm not worried about this. Apple's history with online services is pretty lackluster. If there's one thing that they can screw up, it's this.

ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work (0, Offtopic)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766326)

ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work this.

A 1920 x 1200 desktop at 32 bits a lot of data.

In some area all you can get is DSL any where from 1.5 to 6 meg max. maybe 6 meg will work ok but some people can only get 1.5 or 3 meg dsl.

Cable has higher download speeds but a full block on a Node trying to use this at the same time.

satellite broadband with the FAP does not kill this the lag will.

3G 5GB cap will led to big costs for data over 5GB. And ATT's 2GB then $10 per GB will may this cost so much people will get a PC.

And if you have 2-3 systems then you may need FIOS just make it work good. And Fios is not all over.

Re:ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766424)

I'm assuming the core files for the OS would still be installed locally on your HDD to begin with. Then you just download updates, sync your data, and the rest of the bandwidth is comparable to a standard VNC session. Really, the bandwidth would be comparable to many current users.

This retains the advantages of a Chrome netbook (all your data is always magically online and available from all devices without having to worry about backups), and in theory would allow for the installation of proper apps. Add to that Mac styling, and most users won't care about the walled garden even if geeks will be furious.

Re:ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766526)

ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work this.

A 1920 x 1200 desktop at 32 bits a lot of data.

In some area all you can get is DSL any where from 1.5 to 6 meg max. maybe 6 meg will work ok but some people can only get 1.5 or 3 meg dsl.

Cable has higher download speeds but a full block on a Node trying to use this at the same time.

satellite broadband with the FAP does not kill this the lag will.

3G 5GB cap will led to big costs for data over 5GB. And ATT's 2GB then $10 per GB will may this cost so much people will get a PC.

And if you have 2-3 systems then you may need FIOS just make it work good. And Fios is not all over.

Always fun seeing the new guys complain it could never work, even when I was doing it in the 90s with xwindows / nfs / vnc over a 14.4 modem ... and liking it ...

Re:ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work (1)

Raffaello (230287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767072)

You were not running a modern Mac OS X desktop with millions of colors @ 1200 x 800 (or larger) resolution and antialiasing, doing animated GUI transitions over a 14.4 kbps modem in the 90s.

Re:ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766566)

That depends how you choose to implement it. Streaming is likely to be one of the least efficient ways of doing that. It's more likely that rather than streaming the desktop, all you'd be streaming would be the commands, mouse events and the results. Allowing the local client to do the actual rendering. Which for things other than games and such would be a lot faster.

Re:ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766612)

ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work this.

A 1920 x 1200 desktop at 32 bits a lot of data.

So? I'd imagine that the local computer would still generate the data for that and send it to the monitor in a cloud-based OS, just like in, say, Google Chrome OS, another cloud-based OS.

Re:ISP caps and slow down speeds will NOT work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766692)

uhh, nobody said the entire desktop would be streamed......

Unlikely to be the reason for the datacenter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766388)

While I would not be surprised to see a cloud based OS sometime in the future, I doubt that the new data center is aimed at that technology.

Apple seems to be moving towards a cloud storage model now. With the new Apple TV lacking a hard drive, and the existence of Mobile me with default directories for applications, media, and backup files but much to low a space to do any of those adequately, I'd say it's more likely that the new data center is aimed at expanding the Mobile me offerings.

I see the path as something like this:
1. the cloud as a mirror for small number of high use files (where we are now)

2. the cloud as a mirror for all files (when you could backup an enteire hard drive to the cloud)

3. the cloud as primary storage with local storage as a mirror for offline use (as 2 but after adoption and changing OS default behavior some)

4. Cloud boot as an option

5. the cloud as primary storage with local storage only for high use files (cloud storage larger than local hard drives on unupgraded macs)

6. cloud booting as default with local boot as option

7. total thin terminal (little to no local storage, boots from the cloud, stores everything in the cloud, can't be used offline)

Re:Unlikely to be the reason for the datacenter (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766580)

An Apple computer for your TV. Only 99$USD.

Before anyone points to previous failed attempts, remember that televisions weren't the HD displays they are today.

And before anyone else points that HD TVs aren't anywhere near the resolution of current computer displays, they're still higher resolution than what we used to have and higher than the iPhone 4 or iPad.

No want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766502)

Holy crap - this is the combination of my two least liked things - Apple and "The Cloud". The only way that they could possibly make this less attractive to me is if it quoted the bible to you when you when you booted it up..

Big Data Center??? (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766554)

Hasn't everyone been trying to guess what the big data center they are building is for? Well, this could be the answer you're looking for... TFTP booting has been around since the days of Xterms, maybe even before then.

It makes perfect sense for user-recovery as well. Imagine this: You've dropped your macbook, and now it won't boot from the HD, but can automatically default to net-booting into a utility that will attempt to repair the HD. It will also allow you to boot into a stripped down OS that allows you to copy all your important files to a USB stick or maybe to a ".mac" cloud destination.

The current Macbook Air doesn't eve have a HD -- it uses flash. Just imagine how much thinner they'll be able to make that computer if all it is, is a screen, keyboard and some wireless networking. Then it really will be a Macbook "Air" -- the whole machine becomes a true "netbook" in that it boots and runs from the internet.

Just wait until Apple figures out how to power it from the network as well. No batteries needed.

Re:Big Data Center??? (1)

Astatine (179864) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766654)

Gratuitous pedantry: There's no way any cloud-booted computer will use either PXE or TFTP. Those protocols are designed for trusted networks and are far too insecure to operate across the Internet.

They might have invented some secure protocol to do the same thing. However, I reckon it's probably integrated cloud storage support rather than cloud booting, as other posters suggested earlier. Cloud booting or display rendering in the cloud sounds too likely to give a bad user experience due to ISP issues.

tenzig_112 (1)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766556)

I'm starting to see a few user advantages to this approach- more or less. Theoretically, everything would be on-demand. So, every application would be instantly updatable, and trying new apps could be simpler, too. But it comes attached to a devil's bargain.

On the positive side, it would give developers a much better way to control their content and derive revenue from it. On the negative side, however, it would give developers a much better way to control their content and derive revenue from it. Since most of us are both, we probably experience some degree of ambivalence here.

apple is no longer trustworthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766772)

given that amazon recently yanked the services from wikileaks and apple has yanked the wikileaks app, why would anyone trust apple with their cloud? i'm an apple fan from way back, but with all the recent censoring by apple, i've had enough. i'm not buying, nor suggesting, to friends and family to buy a mac.

Re:apple is no longer trustworthy (1)

haydensdaddy (1719524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766850)

Not that refusing to support a quasi-criminal organization is a good indicator, but when exactly did they start being trustworthy?

OS X has offered netboot for years. (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766980)

You can netboot macs right now in a corporate or educational environment with the right server setup.

VDI on a Consumer Scale (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767028)

This looks like it could be a move to allow people to purchase an appliance that would connect to an Virtual Desktop environment. Similar to what we're seeing in the enterprise space with Wyse, Citrix, VmWare etc... whereby the user has a 'dumb terminal' at their desk and their OS is actually running on a VM in the datacenter. This significantly cuts down the costs especially with those that don't need the mobility of a laptop or specialized hardware at the desktop (graphics designers come to mind). But if you're doing Outlook/IE/Office or even if you're a programmer (VI/EMACS etc...) there's no reason your entire environment couldn't be hosted in the datacenter.

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