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Apple's iCloud Runs On Microsoft Azure

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-put-a-cloud-in-your-cloud dept.

Cloud 230

Front page first-timer ge7 writes "Apple's recently announced cloud storage and cloud service platform, iCloud, runs on their main competitor Microsoft's Azure platform and Amazon services. According to The Reg's sources, 'Microsoft insiders see the iCloud deal as a validation of Azure. iCloud puts Azure into a different league, given the brand love for Apple and the Apple management's fanatical attitude to perfection. It is a "huge consumer brand, a great opportunity to get Azure under a very visible workload." ... Apple has had a recent unpleasant experience in providing online services: in a famous memo, Steve Jobs admitted his company had "more to learn about internet services" following the outages and failures of his precursor to iCloud for email, contacts, calendar, photos and other files on MobileMe.'"

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Azuro (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37300958)

HA-ha!

I don't know. (2)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37300966)

If I should laugh, cry or just be indifferent to this news.

Re:I don't know. (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301036)

Who thinks Apple will confirm or deny which cloud service, if any, will host iCloud?

If anything, Apple wouldn't.

Now, I can believe some Microsoft PR guy thought about it and came up with the idea of spreading a rumour that it would use Azure, precisely because Apple wouldn't say...

Re:I don't know. (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301102)

The odds of this being true are exceptionally low. The Register isn't exactly known for journalistic integrity.

So, we are to believe that Apple, who has been building out an awfully large and awfully expensive data center in North Carolina, are going to outsource one of their key products to Microsoft and Amazon? Apple will often use third parties for products and services, but this seems way too much like handing the keys to their castle to someone else.

In the end, all that really matters is how well iCloud works (or doesn't work), but this story is just way too strange.

Re:I don't know. (5, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301158)

This story is apparently based off of observations made in june [datacenterknowledge.com] , when iCloud was first announced, and seems to concern just iMessage [infiniteapple.net] not the entirety of iCloud services. iCloud isn't even out yet, it's still in beta (real beta, not "Google beta".) As always without any kind of official confirmation or strong observable evidence this is just a rumor, but that won't stop everyone from reporting it as fact.

Re:I don't know. (1)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301168)

Their new data center seems to aimed at hosting just music and movies, and isn't even ready yet. iPhone 5 is coming out in a month and they need something that works now. Apple's previous cloud services have miserable failed too, so it makes sense to use someone who is already expert in the field. Apple isn't going to be making money out of offering hosting services anyway, they even completely stripped down their server OS. Microsoft and Azure, on the other hand are, and they already have ready-to-go worldwide cloud hosting solution.
The reason why they're using two completely different kind of systems (Azure and AWS) probably is so that they don't get locked in to either one.

Re:I don't know. (4, Informative)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301252)

Pretty much every statement in your post is completely made up whole cloth. The purpose of the data center has never been stated, whether it's ready has never been stated, MobileMe having "miserable failed" is far from true, and that they "completely stripped down their server OS" is both incorrect and wholly unrelated (Apple uses Sun and Oracle, among others, for their Internet servers).

And finally, that they are using MS and Amazon is completely, 100%, pure rumor based on a supposedly anonymous tip to a disreputable "news" organization.

It's not that this is impossible, far from it. But it's that it's simply a rumor from a single source, and a claim that would certainly need a bit more substantiation to believe.

Re:I don't know. (1)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301380)

It's been noted before too [datacenterknowledge.com] , and there's even proof [infiniteapple.net] .

Re:I don't know. (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301798)

Azure is PaaS. There's no reason to use it beyond development stages, if they're even doing that. That Apple would use Windows 2008 R2, which is what Azure is built on, to host, is very unlikely. These are ideologically different practices, and Azure's been mostly in beta or "technology preview" for eons. Methinks El Reg has succumbed to rumourmongering. Quelle surprise.

Re:I don't know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301454)

MobileMe having "miserable failed" is far from true

Yes, MobileMe was such a smashing success that Apple decided to retire it and replace it with something else. After all, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villian!

Re:I don't know. (2)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301556)

iPod Mini was a huge success when Apple ditched it in order to replace it with iPod Nano.

Re:I don't know. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301710)

The Register isn't exactly known for journalistic integrity.

[Citation needed]

Re:I don't know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301216)

Of course the Headline should read .

Read all about it Apple cant even run their own cloud

Re:I don't know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301542)

Developers with access to iTunes Match can confirm that iTunes Match does indeed connect to amazon AWS

Universe aligning (0)

baresi (950718) | more than 2 years ago | (#37300970)

Universe aligning to all vs Google

Re:Universe aligning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37300994)

It pays to leave some of the toys for the other kids to play with. Google should think about that.

Re:Universe aligning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301034)

... and the fact that Google is still successful in their endeavors either says something about the talent at Google or the incompetence of their competitors.

Re:Universe aligning (1)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301302)

I'd rather call it closed vs open. Or at least those that push open source and openness vs those who don't.
It will be interesting who'll win.
Personally, I hope no one does, competition is best for consumers.

Re:Universe aligning (2)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301786)

That's like saying I hope that police will never eradicate mafia, because competition is the best...

Next week on your screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37300972)

Linux running on top of Windows

Oh... wait

LoL (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37300990)

It used to be Microsoft that got caught relying on other people's software. What's the world coming to?

[Queue Jon Stewart clip about Apple kicking down doors in Palo Alto while Bill Gates fights AIDS in Africa.]

Re:LoL (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301016)

Heh, not surprising really. Apple will do what they have to do. If it requires using Micro$oft services they'll bite the bullet and do it. You can bet somewhere they've got a team working on an alternative that gives them total control. Apple is all about control. This is just a compromise they were forced to so they can provide the kind of service they need until their own solution is ready.

Re:LoL (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301038)

Still surprising, given that they are about control, that they went with Azure rather than, say, Linux on Amazon EC2, or something like that.

Re:LoL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301076)

RTFA.

iCloud runs on Azure AND EC2.

Re:LoL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301088)

Heh, not surprising really. Apple will do what they have to do. If it requires using Micro$oft services they'll bite the bullet and do it. You can bet somewhere they've got a team working on an alternative that gives them total control. Apple is all about control. This is just a compromise they were forced to so they can provide the kind of service they need until their own solution is ready.

As they've used Microsoft products in the past.

When the Apple Stores first opened, the staff used Windows CE devices to ring up sales. Now they use iPod Touch devices with card scanners.

Re:LoL (1)

dan828 (753380) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301650)

Heck, they were still using those CE point of sale things as late as last year.

Re:LoL (1)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301192)

yep, a bit like when they got motorola to build phones for them. They let motorola take the risk while they learnt the about risks involved.

Re:LoL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301114)

(Cue, not queue)

Re:LoL (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301428)

You understood it, so that's what matters.
Besides, if you want to be pedantic then get rid of the parenthesis around the entire post.

Surprised (3)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301004)

I'm surprised that Microsoft and Amazon apparently agreed not to publicize this. While I don't really care what Apple is using behind the scenes in iCloud - it's not like Apple's a serious player in server space, after all - I wouldn't think they'd have the leverage to dictate these sorts of terms with either company. Seriously, what are they going to do, walk away from the negotiating table? Who else could do it?

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301032)

I'm surprised that Microsoft and Amazon apparently agreed not to publicize this.

I'm not. Apple is a huge "get" if you're a vendor - if they're willing to pony up the amount of cash it will probably take to run their service, and sign a contract keeping them on board for the next 15-20 years - you'll probably do whatever it takes to get and keep them as a customer. I seriously doubt there needed to be any "dictating" going on.

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301372)

It's win/win for Amazon and Microsoft whether they publicize it or not.

1) They get a huge contract with Apple and are NOT allowed to publicly announce it.

2) They get a huge contract with Apple and are allowed to publicly announce it.

Either way they get a huge contract.

That's because MS isn't Linux. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301404)

Pros act like they've been there before (and they have), while amateurs have to trumpet every perceived triumph (sound familiar, OSSers?).

That fact that every Linux milestone is always compared to MS is prima facie evidence Linux will always be small time. It is a hard pill for you fanbois to swallow, but it is fact.

Re:Surprised (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301868)

hmm - well, seeing as the iCloud is still in beta and the service appears to only run iMessage on Azure, it could be that Apple is still deciding which host platform to run on - in which cash, if MS started shouting 'look Apple uses MS tech' then Apple could so easily shift everything to Amazon and make MS look really stupid.

Black or White (0, Flamebait)

Nakkipaketti (801921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301012)

The World is a disappointing place for a "everything is Black or White" -fanboy. iFad.

Re:Black or White (3, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301082)

Not to worry: iOS devices have come in just "black" and "white" for some time.

Re:Black or White (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301494)

Don't be a fag, it's unbecoming.

Raises some questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301018)

1) Why the need for Apple's huge data centre ? .. just to store music/movies ?

2) Why does Apple have such little confidence running iCloud but is okay running one of the world's biggest identity systems (AppleID) which contains a pretty ridiculous number of credit cards.

3) Very interesting approach since assumably they will be connecting to two different stacks Java/S3/EBS/EC2 .. and .Net/SQLServer. Not only data centre redundancy but also protects against issues like the recent Apache security scare.

4) Is multi-region data centres one of the key reasons ?

Re:Raises some questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301056)

Why does Apple have such little confidence running iCloud

MobileMe. This is them learning from that mistake.

Re:Raises some questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301306)

> Why does Apple have such little confidence running iCloud but is okay running one of the world's biggest identity systems

Because that pales into insignificance alongside serious Internet retailers such as Amazon.

Amazon's customer base is somewhere in the mid-hundreds-of-millions. Many of those have multiple addresses and cards on records.

Microsoft are "trucks" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301030)

Remember Steve's quote about MS being trucks? So why not use them as a big truck. Back end. Where they belong. It's a giant public slap in the face to Microsot that know one else gets! Be our server slaves, stay in the closet, and let us (Apple) take care of the rest.

For now...

Re:Microsoft are "trucks" (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301054)

Remember Steve's quote about MS being trucks? So why not use them as a big truck. Back end. Where they belong. It's a giant public slap in the face to Microsot that know one else gets! Be our server slaves, stay in the closet, and let us (Apple) take care of the rest.

But isn't that the whole idea behind Azure? Microsoft wants to be the big truck people rely on behind the scenes.

I'm not a Microsoft fan - I've tried to remove their products from my life as much as possible - but I see this as a big win for them.

Re:Microsoft are "trucks" (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301080)

Wow! That is huge fanboyism to suggest that by Apple choosing to use a Microsoft product that this would somehow be a slap in the face for Microsoft. Ha ha Microsoft, you lose because we chose to use your services.

Was their ever a chance that Apple would have considered using anything other than a back-end product from Microsoft? Did you expect that Apple would ever consider choosing Windows on the next Mac or Windows Phone to run their next iPhone or something?

Oh, or maybe a slap in the face is like a poke in Facebook. Does it mean to pay someone lots of money in a business transaction? I tell you, I just can't keep up with the modern business vernacular!

Re:Microsoft are "trucks" (1)

Catnaps (2044938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301376)

Yep. Hey guy, you suck so here's some money! Oh and we're depending on you to make this work, but hah! Sucks to be you!

No surprise, really. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301058)

This really should come as no surprise. Apple has zero credibility in the server and infrastructure world, and for a good reason: their server products stink. Microsoft's server products are top shelf, high-end, and do an extraordinarily good job in a variety of services. Only Linux is more reliable, but it's nowhere near as easy to manage, as I've learned repeatedly in 15 years in the industry.

Re:No surprise, really. (2, Insightful)

JonJ (907502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301130)

Only Linux is more reliable, but it's nowhere near as easy to manage, as I've learned repeatedly in 15 years in the industry.

15 years and still incompetent. Nice.

Re:No surprise, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301198)

Only Linux is more reliable,

Kid, you really need to broaden your horizons. There are systems still available from IBM, HP, Stratus and others that are so reliable that an unscheduled reboot warrants a visit from the vendor.

Re:No surprise, really. (3, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301292)

Heh, looking at the way things go the "HP" stuff might keep running for longer than HP does ;)

Re:No surprise, really. (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301458)

Evidently you haven't heard the news that Enterprise is their core focus, now.
So it's either HP keeps their HP servers and HPUX operating system afloat, or they go under.
With the amount of money rolling through Enterprise, I doubt they'll sink.

Re:No surprise, really. (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301498)

You realize Linux is an operating system and you just named off hardware vendors, right?

Re:No surprise, really. (4, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301218)

I guess you've never heard of a little side-project of Apple's called the "iTunes Store"?

It's daily transaction volumes are in the same neighborhood as Amazon's, and it is has been highly available and reliable.

Re:No surprise, really. (1)

Catnaps (2044938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301392)

What platform does iTunes run on? I'm genuinely curious, but wouldn't be surprised if it's not, in fact, XServes.

Huh (2)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301070)

This is weird. I feel weird. I need an adult.

exit (1)

junkfish (460683) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301084)

They discontinued the xServe, and os X has always seemed to not perform well in the server space. Good to hear that all is not what is seems.

Apple's main competitor... (1)

funkboy (71672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301098)

...certainly used to be Microsoft, but if you look at the recent deluge of lawsuits I think one could argue that the title for "main Apple competitor" now lies somewhere between Samsung and Android.

Re:Apple's main competitor... (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301408)

I was going to say, what idiot believes Microsoft is Apple's main competitor now? Microsoft and Apple have been buddy buddy for some years now, both teaming up against Google, which is a shame, because both of them are individually bigger than Google, so could just compete on their merits if they were so inclined.

Apple and Microsoft have long been working together on things like IP strategy and keeping down competitors, it's not suprising to see cooperation in other areas too really.

This makes absolutely no sense. (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301100)

Microsoft and Amazon platforms are incompatible, so to "stripe" anything between them, everything has to be done twice, for no reason whatsoever.

Someone is spewing bullshit, most likely The Register's "sources".

Re:This makes absolutely no sense. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301132)

If you stay away from the exotic storage mechanisms on either platform, and just use SQL Server, it's pretty easy to build a complex website which runs fine on both Azure and a standard IIS setup.

It's also likely that they aren't "striping" the website itself, but hosting the front end on Azure and returning objects from AWS - quite a few large services do something similar to this.

Re:This makes absolutely no sense. (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301164)

1. This is not what The Register claims.
2. It still makes no sense whatsoever -- when you distribute storage, you move it TOWARD the [supposedly distributed] application, not AWAY from it, to another provider half across the Internet.

Re:This makes absolutely no sense. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301202)

The Register can claim anything they want, they provide no proof for any of it.

And as for the "why", that depends on the reasons - are Apple hedging their bets? Are they in a trial period? Are they just balancing load across multiple independent providers?

When you distribute storage, you do it for any number of reasons, and those reasons influence how you do the distribution. When the data itself doesn't actually affect the application, and s merely data being managed, it doesn't have to be anywhere near the application itself - the iCloud front end doesn't give a toss about the actual AAC file, it just displays details from the metadata, the actual file is totally separate and can be downloaded from anywhere.

Re:This makes absolutely no sense. (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301246)

What you have described is a system that not only uses two providers but uses each of them for distinct function, each of them critical. So if either has performance problems, the whole system has performance problems, and if either of them fails, the whole system fails.

Apple does a lot of stupid things, but they are not THAT stupid. "Striping" would be a better option than that.

Re:This makes absolutely no sense. (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301586)

If you mean that Apple just passes around references and applications never actually touch the data, it would make some kind of sense -- but then it's more likely that they are references to things not managed by Apple in the first place, so they were in a completely unrelated provider's CDN.

Highly Suspicious (3, Insightful)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301106)

Why would Apple build a brand new <a href="http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/01/apples-new-data-center-is-visible-at-last-from-space/">multimillion-dollar data facility</a>, only to farm out their biggest and most high-profile internet services to external parties?

Re:Highly Suspicious (3, Interesting)

Nysul (1816168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301124)

Probably because the iPhone 5 comes out in a month or two and they need something that works now. I'm sure once they have something stable they will switch to an in-house solution.

Re:Highly Suspicious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301176)

Probably because the iPhone 5 comes out in a month or two and they need something that works now. I'm sure once they have something stable they will switch to an in-house solution.

That might be their plan... but they will soon find how much vendor lock-in sucks. I can't complain though, its about time they get some of their own medicine.

Re:Highly Suspicious (2)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301528)

They've been working on iCloud betas since before the public announcement over the summer, I'm sure it will be done in time. That Billion-dollar-datacenter was started years ago.

Re:Highly Suspicious (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301162)

I'd say they are having a learning experience while covering immediate needs with a proven setup.

Re: Is Azure a proven setup? (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301844)

Wikipedia says Azure was available commercially in February of 2010. So it's been on the market for a little over a year and a half.

Re:Highly Suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301522)

On one hand, you make a good point. On the other hand your link shows up as plain text.

Re:Highly Suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301746)

Not highly suspicious. Apple is fanatical about what it controls best. OSes, store, hardware. It isn't as fanatical about server-side of the deal. What goes underneath is not its problem.

For example, they build computers and they arguably do a good job at it, but they still use Isilon for data transfer and integrity, which are only PCs with a special chassis, a dozen HDD, a few special cards and more importantly their OneFS.

Now if they had to write "Microsoft Azure" on the bottom of every page, I'm sure the deal would've been broken a long time ago. ;-)

Apple makes no competing product. (0)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301126)

So Microsoft is not their competitor.

Re:Apple makes no competing product. (0)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301472)

Your right, Apple doesn't make:
OSX
Pages
Numbers
Keynote ...

MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (1, Interesting)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301138)

Lest you forget, MS kept Apple alive with a huge cash infusion when they were about to go under. They need each other. They're best frenemies.

MS may not quite have expected Apple to rebound as much as they did, but they need Apple to kick them in the ass, and Apple customers aren't really MS customers so they're not losing much. Apple needs Microsoft so their customers can keep pretending they're superior outsiders and not just too simple to figure out Windows's obtuse designed by engineers UI. And so they can keep painting Microsoft as Big Brother even when their own policies are far more totalitarian.

Apple can afford to go teehee at MS's pathetic attempts to stay relevant in the mobile phone sector, so no problem there, and Amazon is only a competitor as far as providing ebooks goes. Vexing, but not fatal.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (3, Informative)

Caste11an (898046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301180)

"Lest you forget, MS kept Apple alive with a huge cash infusion when they were about to go under."

No, Apple was not about to go under. The $150 million was a token gesture of solidarity and it purchased non-voting shares. Apple had BILLIONS of dollars in the bank at the time. Apple was rudderless, which is what led to Jobs returning and reforging the sword that was broken, but Apple didn't need Microsoft's cash--they needed Office to be supported.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (2)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301212)

'which is what led to Jobs returning and reforging the sword that was broken'

...

...

...

Well okay then.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301430)

Last week I bought a 11" Macbook Air at an Apple store. Solid hardware, no complaints about the device. However, the in-store experience was annoying, with the salesperson acting like I was about to have a religious experience.

Looks like this dude is well inside the reality distortion field.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301582)

Yeah.... Every cult needs a healthy dose of myth behind it. :-)

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301226)

MS kept Apple alive with a huge cash infusion when they were about to go under

No, MS made a token investment of $150M, and promised to keep shipping Office on the Mac for five years, in exchange for Apple not pressing charges for their theft of the Quicktime source code. Gates and Ballmer both would have done time for that, they were caught red-handed.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (2)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301250)

Okay, that's it, I'm holding this thread open till someone seriously explains how the Bildberg group conspired to make sure it just LOOKED like Apple took any help from Microsoft because otherwise you'd just DIE of shame omigaw.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301260)

and Amazon is only a competitor as far as providing ebooks goes...

... and streaming videos, music, mobile apps, and soon tablet hardware. These aren't as big a splash as the ebook market yet, but these things have a way of booming once they hit a certain point in the adoption curve. Especially when some of them come for free with a service that people are already more than willing to pay for on its own (Amazon Prime). And iTunes has been a direct competitor with Amazon for years in terms of pitting digital purchases against online shopping for physical media.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301278)

I would completely agree that Amazon wants to be a much bigger competitor to Apple in Apple's domain than they are at the moment. I guess Apple's willing to take that risk right now?

Amazon mp3 isn't really hurting iTunes, for instance.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301294)

(Forgive me for replying to myself, no edit)

Similarly, MS thinks they're a competitor to Apple for phones and tablets. But they're not.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301284)

>"Lest you forget, MS kept Apple alive with a huge cash infusion when they were about to go under."

Lest you forget, the cash infusion was inconsequential from a mere cash perspective and was more a vote of confidence than anything else. Lastly, the cash was part of a longstanding legal settlement.

>"Apple customers aren't really MS customers so they're not losing much."

That's akin to saying that Verizon customers aren't AT&T customers.

>"Apple needs Microsoft so their customers can keep pretending they're superior outsiders and not just too simple to figure out Windows's obtuse designed by engineers UI."

Apple has established many more "enemies" that would fulfill that goal assuming it were real. Dell and Google come to mind. Apple has defeated Dell many times over, will soon defeat Google with better product as well as in court and Apple has completely destroyed Microsoft in every new market they both compete in in the last few years

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301364)

Lest you forget, MS kept Apple alive with a huge cash infusion when they were about to go under.

'Huge'? $150m? At the same time, Apple earned $800m from the sale of their stake in Arm Holdings:

http://www.cultofmac.com/this-is-how-arm-saved-apple-from-going-bust-1990s/97055

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301486)

Apple and MS enemies? Of course not! They are extremely good allies, both scared to death of Google's Android! The mobile market is going to surpass the PC market by a fair margin, and Apple and MS do NOT want Google dominating it. Hence, both are trying to bury Android under patent lawsuits - patents that they have sometimes acquired together.

Re:MS isn't a competitor. Frenemies 4evar! (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301534)

Actually, Apple customers are big MS Office customers, Microsoft even admits that their Mac version has an adoption rate comparable to the Windows version.

Old News (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301190)

Sorry, http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/06/16/icloud-mystery-is-apple-using-azure-amazon/

This news is OLD

I bet they're using only bare bones (1)

melted (227442) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301288)

I bet they're using only bare bones, like blob storage and possibly CDN, and then only temporarily until they roll their own. Apple is all about _control_ first and foremost.

And if I were Microsoft, I'd keep this one secret until _after_ they succeed, because it's not only a great opportunity to succeed. They could also fail quite spectacularly, too.

It was probably a time issue (2)

EmotionToilet (1083453) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301300)

They wanted to get it out there in time and it was probably faster to throw something together on Azure instead of setting up their own servers. I'm sure iCloud is what Apple had in mind when they started building the huge data centers in North Carolina and I'm willing to bet Azure is only a temporary solution and eventually everything will be transferred to their new data center. They probably didn't want to risk another Mobile Me type release. Still, it's a tip of the hat to MS.

In other news... (1)

molecule1 (1752394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301330)

Amazon, Microsoft products run on Apple products

Apple does not use Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301340)

Apple built a masive new data centre and bought 12 Peta Bytes of EMC Isilon storage for their cloud services. This story does not make sence. BTW I work for EMC.

In what world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301356)

...are Microsoft and Apple "main" competitors?

Re:In what world... (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301432)

...are Microsoft and Apple "main" competitors?

Surely you're not serious...?

In THIS world...

Try perhaps learning your history before spouting off something that puts your foot in your mouth.

But, but, but!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301396)

You can't install OSX on a non Apple Hardware, is Apple violating the Apple License Agreement and has to sue itself???

JUST CLICK.. (-1, Troll)

renanteabrica (2453370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301598)

It is a "huge consumer brand, a great opportunity to get Azure under a very visible workload." ... Apple has had a recent unpleasant experience in providing online services:
JUST CLICK...

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best ski resorts [skifeet.com]
the 10 best ski resorts in the world [skifeet.com]
aspen colorado ski resorts [skifeet.com]
ski resorts aspen colorado [skifeet.com]
mammoth mountain ski resort [skifeet.com]

why should this be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301748)

apple isn't the enterprise in any way shape or form
oh sure, their product might get used in that space
but when the shit hits the fan apple take no responsibility
they've happier to say, "f u. just don't use it like that"
it's like how apple stores used wince for pos
it's like how apple don't use osx as their webserver os

in the end apple is sensible in the 'right tool for the right job' sense
given the various cross deals they've got with microsoft, why the hell not?

No wonder, they are running Oracle on web :D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37301768)

Request:
GET / HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; en) Presto/2.9.168 Version/11.50
Host: www.apple.com

Response:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (Oracle)

Muahahaha :D

Apple sells hardware (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301848)

It's not in their interest to build an entire Cloud infrastructure. They're in business to sell Macs, iPads and iPhones - the stuff they bundle along with that is the gravy.

So Apple turns user data over to the government? (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301852)

Under Wikipedia for Azure: Microsoft has stated that, per the Patriot Act, the USA government can have access to the data even if the hosted company is not American and the data resides outside the USA.[20]

It's a trap! (1)

lerxstz (692089) | more than 2 years ago | (#37301890)

1. Intentionally have "issues" with iCloud running on Azure and Amazon, discrediting the competition
2. BIG Announcement of the switch to new uber Apple infrastructure
3. ???
4. Profit!

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