Apple made a big splash earlier this year when it announced its plans to launch iCloud. The streaming file, audio and video service is currently in beta testing and should launch to the public later this year. Now a report from The Register reveals via unnamed sources that iCloud's hosting duties are being handled jointly by two of Apple's biggest rivals. One is Microsoft via its Azure platform while the other is Amazon via its Amazon Web Services (AWS) business.
The story claims that Apple's agreement with the two companies also keeps them from talking publicly about this partnership. It also claims that Apple made this decision to outsource iCloud's hosting features because it wanted to concentrate on "building great consumer experiences". Microsoft and Amazon will share hosting duties for iCloud, in part because Apple doesn't want to rely on just one company for its server needs. The iCloud agreement with Apple could potentially be a big one for Microsoft. It launched its Azure cloud service in February 2010 and has been trying to show other businesses that it can handle their cloud computing needs.
It's possible that Apple's deal with Microsoft and Amazon may just be a temporary one in order to get iCloud launched as soon as possible. Apple recently completed construction of a massive server facility in Maiden, North Carolina. The 500,000 square foot building, which reportedly cost Apple $500 million, will be used to host iCloud-based services in the future.