Apple's next Mac operating system, OS X Lion, and the next iOS operating system, iOS 5, will both be revealed at the upcoming World Wide Developers conference--by none other than Steve Jobs--but it's the official release of its keenly anticipated cloud services effort, iCloud, that will most certainly snag the biggest spotlight.
Apple is in heavy prep mode for next week's WWDC, its premiere event for revealing new hardware and software. The next Mac operating system, OS X Lion, and the next iOS operating system, iOS 5, will both key features in its ongoing battles with Microsoft and Google, over computers and smartphones, respectively. But the biggest news? CEO Steve Jobs is well enough, though still on medical leave, to present the keynote event himself on June 6th. And it's a single word that everyone in the tech world will be excited about: iCloud.
We've long suspected Apple would use the June event to reveal its plans to embrace cloud tech, which will presumably leverage its data center in North Carolina for the first time. The idea was given an extra spin over the last several weeks as first Amazon then Google revealed their cloud music locker systems and even made some early moves in the coming battle for consumers. We knew Apple was working on this, but hadn't finalized its systems yet--but it had made more successes than either of its competitors in securing record label support. We'd even heard it may be called iCloud, because Apple bought the domain to follow its usual iNaming habit.
We're presuming that iCloud will include a cloud-based music system to adapt iTunes for a streaming-centric future, along with a revamped MobileMe system which could be free, at least in part. But until next week (or until more data leaks out) we'll have to wait and see.
What we do know more about is that OS X Lion, vital for Apple's ongoing development of its core Mac business, is going to get headline attention, along with the next big update to the iPhone and iPad's operating system, iOS 5. Both of these are vital for Apple's future--particularly now that Macs are making more inroads into the PC market, and that Android's lead in the smartphone market place seems to have slowed.
And there's one more thing... or perhaps not. Will this decisive and surprisingly open reveal of next week's event details kill off any suggestion Apple will reveal the iPhone 5 (4S?) at the event? We think it should, but you never know.
[Image: Flickr user amber-rae]