Apple Advances Personal Cloud, Continues A "Think Different" Enterprise Strategy

With today’s iPad and Apple TV announcements, Apple continues to advance on two topics that I’ve been researching: personal cloud and Apples enterprise strategy.

Apple has already announced that it’s got 100 million signups for its personal cloud service, iCloud, and repeated that today. Now Apple supports movies — in addition to TV shows and music — in iCloud. Apple added PhotoStream to iCloud support in Apple TV, including the previous black Apple TV, with the new Apple TV software update. With the new iOS iPhoto app, I believe Apple will use iCloud to sync albums and the new journal information that displays weather information from the date a photo was taken — although full support will probably require an update or new version of iPhoto on the Mac.

Apple’s vision of personal cloud deeply integrates across Apple products and a wide range of personal and purchased content, including books and iTunes U-class materials. It’ll be interesting to see if the company opens up any API access. My hunch is that Apple will create tools and an app store for iCloud to interact with the personal content in the service rather than do large-scale API access.

As to Apple’s enterprise strategy: Today’s announcements continue Apple’s pattern of not addressing the IT organization as an audience. Apple’s strategy is to focus maniacally on the individual. Beyond the home and entertainment features, Apple has added just enough features to enable individuals to self-provision access to corporate resources like email, and just enough security and control features so that IT can set security policies and perform remote wipes. Apple won’t add all the complex features that are typical in other products; it doesn’t believe in that complexity. I think the company will use its Apple Stores and web-based customer support to enable great support directly to individual employees. Its goal is to imprint the Apple brand into employees rather than embrace today’s complex enterprise support models.

What do you think of Apple’s growing iCloud capabilities and how it compares to other personal cloud strategies? And what do you think of Apple’s enterprise strategy?