January 4, 2010
apple cloud saasI’m hearing rumors that Apple is gearing up to announce SaaS (software as a service) versions of its iWork and iLife productivity suites in the cloud at Macworld 2010 2009, which opens its doors tomorrow. If the buzz turns out to be true, not only will the secretive Cupertino giant offer the usual document creation software, but also a cloud version of their renowned iMovie editing software. Here’s what it could mean for resellers.
Apple does have a channel program, but the fact is that they don’t talk much about it. Judging from reader comments here at The VAR Guy, Apple’s a non-entity to most resellers. What this really means for the channel, if Apple really does plan a move to the cloud, is that established SaaS providers Zoho, Microsoft, and Google are all going to have to step up their game. The public’s eye has been set squarely on Apple for the last few years, and if they’ve come up with a strong solution for editing video in the cloud, everyone’s going to want it.
As to whether or not the rumors are true — well, frankly, it seems unlikely. Unless Apple does something like link the hypothetical SaaS iLife and iWork to MobileMe, their existing Mac-only cloud storage and data syncing solution, they’d be giving up the edge of OS X exclusivity. Moreover, if YouTube and uStream, with years of experience, haven’t been able to nail video editing in the browser, it seems unlikely relative newcomer to the cloud Apple will be able to.
Either way, we’ll know this week how true the rumor turns out to be.
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