I don’t follow Apple very closely most of the time, but these facts I learned in close proximity recently struck me as pointing to an interesting possibility:
- Apple has a giant datacenter with no clear publicly released purpose. It’s one big server farm and it’s online now.
- Apple has a cloud OS patent. It’s most focused on the administration of such an OS with cloud-based, network-booted capabilities. The hardware platform isn’t specified, but they applied for this back in 2006, before the iPhone was released and well before iPad rumors took flight.
- Apple is quietly and quickly moving into the enterprise space. Not through the server route, or even necessarily through MacBooks and iMacs, but through revolutionary alternative devices such as the iPad.
Perhaps Apple plans to release their own cloud-provided OS, enterprise-branded and customized. Securely connected to their sprawling new datacenter, Apple could provide businesses of all sizes with a productivity-enhancing and compliance-increasing platform that corporate users, IT teams, and management might all manage to get behind. There might be team-specific apps that are developed in-house or generated from a series of general template applications that provide commonly-needed functionality. From knowledge workers’ daily activity to retail scenarios various organizations could stand to benefit from devices, interface patterns and quality that users prefer enough to bring in personally.