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Apple iCloud To Spark Race For Integrated Cloud-based Services

As was the case with the iPod in the MP3 player market, Apple has again managed, this time with the iCloud, to deliver a comprehensive, integrated cloud-based set of services at a time when its competitors are still trying to find their feet.

The arrival of the iCloud on the market is set to trigger a scramble for similar services, just like the arrival of the iPhone and the iPad on retailers' shelves produced a glut of products that looked a lot like the two aforementioned Apple products.

Microsoft, Google and Amazon are three of the most well-known names that will, sooner or later, debut cloud-based services to rival Apple's iCloud for consumers.

But it's in the corporate segment that things are heating up; HP is rumoured to be starting its own cloud-based service, as one spokesperson told Billboard, "HP announced that it plans to offer an expanded portfolio of cloud services for enterprises and consumers".

Oracle, Salesforce and IBM amongst others have all already announced plans for their own set of cloud services for businesses and enterprises.

As usual, Apple seems to have launched a disruptive product with the iCloud, that some have suggested "is extremely well-timed", as the recent Japanese earthquake and subsequent devastating tsunami have apparently caused some corporations to consider moving their IT systems to the cloud.