Apple has made several major announcements this past week at their World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). Besides the big news of iOS 5 and OS X Lion, Apple presented iCloud, which is a cloud-based service that can be used to store music, photos, applications and just about any other data files imaginable. Since your data is stored on Internet-accessible servers, iCloud users can get access to their data with any Internet connected device that can run the iCloud software. This includes Macs, iPhones, iPads and even Microsoft Windows PC’s.
But it’s interesting to point out that Apple is specifying that iCloud will only fully operate on Macs with OS X Lion installed. Additionally, some features also require the new iOS 5 software. This is not surpassing as Apple customers are commonly forced to upgrade hardware and/or software to keep up with Apple’s latest offerings. It’s just part of owning an Apple product. But what is interesting is that the iCloud software will only work on Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Considering that there are literally millions of users still running the now decade-old Windows XP, Apple is taking a risk in the fact that their excluding a major segment of potential users. We’re talking about approximately 40% of the Internet according to recent statistics.
I guess Apple is hoping that if people want to use the iCloud service, they will choose to upgrade. And if they do upgrade, perhaps they will buy an Apple product. While this may work for a small segment of those still running XP, it is likely that these users will trot over to their local Best Buy and pick up a new Acer or HP with Windows 7 installed on it. Microsoft should be thanking Apple for their decision to kill off XP with iCloud.
Article first published as Microsoft Will Profit From Apple’s iCloud on Technorati.