Rumor: Apple to offer some iCloud features for free to Lion users?

Tomorrow is the big day for Apple fans as the keynote address for the Worldwide Developers Conference kicks things off. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to address the keynote and in an unusual move for Apple the company has already given some general info about what will be discussed during the keynote. It will include updates on the Mac OS, the iOS for its portable products and most importantly iCloud, its new streaming media service.

There have been lots of rumors about how will iCloud work and this weekend AppleInsider.com, using unnamed sources, stated that one of the surprises to be announced on Monday is that some of the iCloud features will be offered to Mac users for free. There is a small catch. Those users, according to the article, would have to update to the next version of the Mac OS X version, code named "Lion", in order to receive the free iCloud features.

ICloud is supposed to replace Apple's MobileMe program which offers remote file storage, among other things, for about $99 a year. According to the article, "That price tag may remain for users who do not make the upgrade to Lion, or for Windows users. But it is expected that the cloud services will become free to Mac users who run the latest version of Mac OS X." The article also reports, again via unnamed sources, that Apple might offer updates to Lion for a sale price.

The article does point out that the streaming music service portion of iCloud will likely have a fee attached for everyone, even Mac OS X Lion users. However it's possible that Apple might offer a cheaper introductory price for those services.

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The messed up angle...

The important part is the 'promotion' of their music streaming feature they are adding, and yet if Microsoft were to offer Zune software, let alone a free year of Zune Pass(which is streaming and more) with Windows, they would be yanked into court by the US AG and the EU with complaints from companies like Apple.

Ah, the freedom to innovate and promote your own products.

Even 10 years after the Microsoft monopoly insanity, Microsoft Windows is bigger than ever, and horrid restricted versions like the EU's Win7 N versions are a joke, with most users that buy a new PC with the N version, go download the removed applications anyway.

Good for Apple, but sad that the rest of the world using PCs won't get offers like this because of the microscope that still is held over Microsoft.

As for iCloud and the online Apple services, the audacity to charge for it in the first place is still incredible.

Especially if you consider that Microsoft has to bind their online service to 'externally' downloaded and installed 'Live Essentials' jump through a few hoops, and part of the reason is so they can offer Live/Skydrive/Mesh features for free.

Best bet is to actually wait to see what services iCloud will offer and at what price before making decisions or comparing it with anything.

"But what fun is that?" Yeah, I know. :-)

srprimeaux said,
Best bet is to actually wait to see what services iCloud will offer and at what price before making decisions or comparing it with anything.

"But what fun is that?" Yeah, I know. :-)

Exactly. Yes, Skydrive is free and yes Windows Live is free...but no one knows what features are going to be in this iCloud so it is foolish to already start comparing services.

nobody needs icloud no thanks. Got 25GB skydrive for free bunble with Live Sync. Even a Mac user can easily have skydrive.

satus said,
nobody needs icloud no thanks. Got 25GB skydrive for free bunble with Live Sync. Even a Mac user can easily have skydrive.

I'm a PC running Windows, and I can access SkyDrive from Microsoft.
I'm a Mac, and even though I don't want you to know I'm a PC that can run Windows too, I can also access SkyDrive from Microsoft for free. And did I mention I can do it from my iPhone and iPad too? NO? Okay, scratch that, I didn't mention it. Buy our services because they're better... really, they're better. TRUST ME!!! My name isn't Jobs for no reason!@#$#!!

And a while back there were lots of rumors about Mobile Me going free.
I certainly hope at least the Mail, Calendar and iDrive parts go free, put an ad on the site if needed...
Having free services that work really well and are tightly integrated with all their devices are only going to help them sell more.

I think they should start charging for everything from Hotmail to SkyDrive to Windows Live Messenger then. Free to users of Windows though.

TechDudeGeorge said,
I think they should start charging for everything from Hotmail to SkyDrive to Windows Live Messenger then. Free to users of Windows though.

I see what you did there
Do not forget, this is Apple... They are GODS among IT companies. No matter what they jizz out, their followers will swallow

TechDudeGeorge said,
I think they should start charging for everything from Hotmail to SkyDrive to Windows Live Messenger then. Free to users of Windows though.

The live services (most of them at least) are instead very poorly designed and filled with ads, Apple could probably go that route as well, just not their style...
But yea, the $99/year price for MobileMe is way too much.

If the ads are a problem then people can either pay £20 for them to be removed, use a mail client.

There are a few design quirks like the settings for live mail but overall would not say it's any worse than other services.

Leonick said,

The live services (most of them at least) are instead very poorly designed and filled with ads, Apple could probably go that route as well, just not their style...
But yea, the $99/year price for MobileMe is way too much.

No $99 is way to cheap. This price point does not cover the cost of these services at all so they are loss leaders for their respective companies.

This is great if you like free but remember nothing in life comes for free and you are paying for it elsewhere. These price points also price out new startups who might have innovated better and faster but could not compete with free.

Depicus said,

No $99 is way to cheap. This price point does not cover the cost of these services at all so they are loss leaders for their respective companies.

This is great if you like free but remember nothing in life comes for free and you are paying for it elsewhere. These price points also price out new startups who might have innovated better and faster but could not compete with free.

Wow wait a sec... $99 a year is too cheap for email, contacts and calendar syncing? We won't count the 10 gb disk storage since that's unusable.

Enron said,

Wow wait a sec... $99 a year is too cheap for email, contacts and calendar syncing? We won't count the 10 gb disk storage since that's unusable.

When you already have it for free with Windows Live, plus 25 GB of storage, online document editing, and more, yes, $99 is WAY too much.

andrewbares said,

When you already have it for free with Windows Live, plus 25 GB of storage, online document editing, and more, yes, $99 is WAY too much.

I know, I was just surprised he actually thought that. I prefer Windows Live myself. Google offers similar features for free as well. Apple on the other hand just charges way too much for this stuff, and their iDisk service isn't even very good (I've experienced it for myself).

Leonick said,

The live services (most of them at least) are instead very poorly designed and filled with ads, Apple could probably go that route as well, just not their style...
But yea, the $99/year price for MobileMe is way too much.

Yep. They'd rather get $99 directly from you than rely on advertisements.
Which, oddly enough... advertisments are where they've appropriated much of their user base from.

Enron said,

I know, I was just surprised he actually thought that. I prefer Windows Live myself. Google offers similar features for free as well. Apple on the other hand just charges way too much for this stuff, and their iDisk service isn't even very good (I've experienced it for myself).


And they said the "Apple Tax" doesn't exist...

Leonick said,

The live services (most of them at least) are instead very poorly designed and filled with ads, Apple could probably go that route as well, just not their style...
But yea, the $99/year price for MobileMe is way too much.

Poorly designed, filled with ads? Really?

Funny that when I open Windows Live Mail and access my Live email account, I don't any ads, and when I open Live Mesh and do Remote desktop or File Syncing, I don't see any ads.

As for comparing Skydrive and the Microsoft Live services to Apple's offerings is a slap in the face to any person that can think for themselves. Have you been to any of the Microsoft online sites you are talking about? Have you used Word or Excel, or the current Live/Hotmail?

You are also forgetting is that you can purchase more 'features' to Live/Hotmail email and have the ads from the page removed, and it is still cheaper than Apple's offerings.

The Microsoft online services are the 'example' of how online 'cloud' service should be designed, and have security that is far beyond Apple's services, as Microsoft themselves can't even read your documents, files, or email -- Apple can read their user's content - just like Google can read their user's content as well.

I have a funny feeling that "Lion" will be attacked to **** out of by Malware/Spyware authors. Apple have a big enough Market Share now and I have a feeling that they haven't concentrated enough on Security.

ChuckFinley said,
I have a funny feeling that "Lion" will be attacked to **** out of by Malware/Spyware authors. Apple have a big enough Market Share now and I have a feeling that they haven't concentrated enough on Security.

I agree with you to a point. We are going to see more Malware like MacDefender i.e. trojans and phising scams, they are the most common Malware for any platform.

The important thing to remember with the though is that it's not the platforms security that is being compromised, MacDefender install just like every other mac program, Windows defender (the windows counterpart) install like any other windows program (I think it do make it harder to remove than MacDefender though but that due to how the platforms work).
The security breach are inexperience users that are fooled by the initial scam, commonly a fake virus alert or such, they then do whatever they are told to get rid of the "viruses" this includes installing some random software that automatically downloads and the without much thought puts in Name and credit card information and so on...

Maybe just maybe it's time to start educating these people in some way. Everyone can't be expected to be a geek or a full blown IT-technician but maybe we should make sure people have some basic knowledge at least...

ChuckFinley said,
I have a funny feeling that "Lion" will be attacked to **** out of by Malware/Spyware authors. Apple have a big enough Market Share now and I have a feeling that they haven't concentrated enough on Security.

They have a bigger market share than before?? Since when?

ChuckFinley said,
I have a funny feeling that "Lion" will be attacked to **** out of by Malware/Spyware authors. Apple have a big enough Market Share now and I have a feeling that they haven't concentrated enough on Security.

Attackers won't target Lion more just because it's Lion though. Attackers don't really care for the OS and such technicalities, only for the benefits. And trojans can be launched against any OS, regardless security. Since they don't rely on OS security, but user awareness.

I will save that $99 a year and put it toward Windows 8. Mobile Me has always been a huge ripoff and the iDisk service is so slow, I don't even know why they offer it.