At Apple’s keynote event on Tuesday, they announced that iCloud would be released on October 12. iCloud is Apple’s suite of internet apps that that syncs all of your documents and files to all of your devices.
iCloud is a big rival to Windows Live especially since it integrates with Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 as much as Windows Live integrates with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.
Also, most people can get an iCloud account a lot easier than a Windows Live account just for the one simple reason that they already have an Apple ID. Over 200 million people have Apple IDs in the form of iTunes accounts. This means that most people will be able to instantly join iCloud be just logging in without having to make a completely new account.
iCloud also offers a couple more features than Windows Live. It has a service that syncs your music across all of your iOS devices and it has a music matching service. (For $25 a year.) And of course many developers have already had the chance to test out iCloud while no one has been able to test all of the Windows Live features on Windows 8 yet.
But does this mean that no one will care about the new Windows Live features in Windows 8? Probably not. There might be some people that say that because iCloud has been tested by more developers and has been talked about in greater detail by Apple and all of the tech rumor blogs then it must be better.
Just because it’s being talked about in more detail than Windows Live doesn’t mean that it’s better at all. Just think about phones for a second. Apple never says anything about their iPhones while Android makers talk about specs all the time before the phones get officially announced, and yet the iPhone performs a lot better in the market than any individual Android phone.
Windows Live is just going to be a little late to integrating the cloud with the operating system. Here’s another analogy: (Sorry that these all have something to do with Apple.) There were smartphones before the iPhone right? RIM’s Blackberry dominated the market for almost ten years, but then the iPhone came out and it changed everything about the phone industry.
Windows Live might be the same way. Microsoft might have something up their sleeve that they want to announce sometime next year. Maybe they will team up with a music streaming service like Spotify or Pandora to allow you to listen to your playlists or radio stations anywhere you go.
Even if they don’t have anything else, they’ve still got that great feature that allows you to sign on with your Windows Live ID on any Windows 8 computer and still have all your program and system settings.
Overall, I don’t think iCloud poses that much of a threat to Windows 8. I mean, I don’t think a consumer’s final decision between buying a Mac and a PC is going to be whether it has iCloud or Windows Live. They are both good services.