Apple made a couple of significant announcements in regards to its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference today. For one, CEO Steve Jobs will be keynoting. This is significant given his medical leave.
Secondly, the company announced the topics of keynote, which include its upcoming cloud services, named iCloud. The iCloud name had been expected based on recent findings that Apple had purchased the iCloud.com domain name, but the company has now made it official.
Specifically, Apple says, "At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software - Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering."
Apple made no secret that it would be unveiling the next versions of Mac OS and iOS, but much of the interest will be around Apple's cloud offerings.
Apple obviously has a tremendous advantage on the music front with its hugely successful iTunes. Adding a cloud service should only serve to cement this advantage (along with the increasing success of iOS-based devices). Competition is ramping up in this space with players like Google and Amazon recently both launching new products. With Google's inability to launch with record label deals, Apple might be able to get a leg up there, based on its iTunes experience.
Last week, it was reported that Apple was close to deals with all four major labels.
Since the announcement came out, Apple shares have been on the rise.