iCloud – Your Digital Fortress?

So one of the most speculated Apple products of 2011 is starting to appear from the usual Apple veil of secrecy.

It’s long been assumed that the massive NC based data center would lead to a new effort in the buzz topic of web storage or the cloud. The new data center is huge compared to Apple’s previous resource, 400% larger, and Apple does not spend that kind of infrastructure capital without a supporting product.

iTunes in the cloud, or web storage of your iTunes content has been biggest rumored feature, but the second rumor was about an expansion of MobileMe and the transition of MobileMe to a free service to support the ever expanding family of iOS products.

Well, 3 rumors highlight the certainty of Apple’s next big initiative for OS X and iOS.

1. Apple has secured the licenses from the major record companies to allow for the streaming of iTunes content. These licenses will allow  Apple to stream iTunes libraries to users rather than users having to upload their whole iTunes library. The content will be available locally and in the cloud.

2. Apple has purchased the iCloud.com domain. If Apple wants to “i”conize a word, then a product cannot be far behind. It’s also a simple iconic URL that leverages every bit of advertising that companies are doing about cloud computing by Apple’izing it.

3. The latest developer release/beta of OS X Lion features language about a new settings change (courtesy of MacRumors.com)

“Click OK to open System Preferences and complete your upgrade from MobileMe to Castle.”

Now. the MobileMe is already pretty much a digital locker for photos,videos, and files. MoD finds the use of the codename Castle potentially revealing. Castle denotes a stronghold, fortress, protection, security. So while MobileMe could be retired as a brand name/URL with http://www.icloud.com , upgrading to “Castle” perhaps will involve a much higher level of personal security. Sometimes a codename is just a codename, but Castle in this instance seems far too coincidental. Can you not just see a Castle image inside one of the iOS system icons, or like the way Apple uses Grand Central as a codename with actual meaning? Will Castle bring with it an easy way to provide secure yet simple login capability and extend that security across OS X and iOS. Has Apple found a way to Think Different and both simplify and improve personal security?

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