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Cloud Businesses

Dell Sets Stage To Take On Apple's iCloud 87

Posted by samzenpus
from the head-in-the-clouds dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Dell has quietly created a cloud-based service offering that could offer consumers a compelling reason to keep investing in Dell devices. The new release, which began shipping last week, allows users who snap a picture with a Dell Streak or other Dell mobile device to automatically upload it to a pool of free, shared cloud storage. The new software also allows devices to remotely control and play back shared audio and video, plus other services."
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Dell Sets Stage To Take On Apple's iCloud

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  • I'm sure this will be even more successful than the time they re-badged the iPod.

  • by Super Dave Osbourne (688888) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @05:30PM (#36675834)
    So the title should maybe read better and more accurately... "Dell rushed to market a delayed release of a copy of a competitors product"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bongey (974911)

      "Apple rushed to market a delayed release of a copy of a competitors product".

      Fixed that for you.
      Google is light years ahead of the vapor-ware known as iCloud . For all we know iCloud will turn out as bad as Mobile Me , I mean .Mac , know I mean iTools .
      Look here comes the fan boys to mod me through the floor.

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        The most deceiving thing in iCloud is that they won't store your pics... This is really stunning. Given the price of 2TB drives nowadays, it is a wonder that they stumble on that.

        For the rest, I find it actually useful that a document made here gets its way to all my other devices. Plus the added benefit of an online backup.

        No revolution there, but a nice implementation in my view. As often with Apple.

        • by Amouth (879122)

          space is not cheap - pictures are large compared to documents and they do not deduplicate well at the block level

          iCloud is running in an enterprise environment - there the min cost of storage is 3 to 1 bytes just raw space (most have much higher costs).

          People will point to the (what they see) as cheap 2TB drives.. please note that they will not enter the building.. the cost in $ per bit is much higher than just the cost of a cheap drive.. and no not all drives are made the same, and yes when you are dea

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            You can buy 3 of them and they are still cheap.

            You can buy 3 of something else that's equally portable but sufficiently large and it will still be cheaper (than enterprise storage).

            Once you've got 3 or more, many of the usual "benefits" of "enterprise" storage start to go away.

            Being able to sync photos is a very granny-friendly sort of use case for cloud storage.

            • Once you've got 3 or more, many of the usual "benefits" of "enterprise" storage start to go away.

              So your home unit has dual processors/mobos that can fail-over seamlessly, multiple power supplies to feed 'em, 10gE or FCP out the back, firmware to parcel out and/or resize partitions on-the-fly, hot-swappable drive shelves, deduplication, versioning/snapshots, mobile partitions w/ no downtime, remote mirroring, and all of that with built-in iSCSI, NFS *and* CIFS?

              Oh, and let's not forget 24/7/365 support, and the ability to replace any part of the whole shebang within 4 hours, but w/o additional cost for doing so.

              ==

              Once you start emulating what an enterprise storage rig *really* has feature-wise, you'll find out very quickly that you're not going to get cheaper - at least not by enough to matter... especially once you start piling on spindles to multiply throughput beyond what a mere three disk drives can do.

              Sure - for personal use, I'm very sure that putting up with a slower not-perfectly-redundant (home brew?) NAS box that you have to set up and support yourself would be cheaper than calling up EMC or NetApp. OTOH, if you're supporting hundreds of thousands of paying users on it, things change by quite a lot.

              • by jedidiah (1196)

                ...except you don't need all of that nonsense to deal with a personal need.

                You don't even need to use a "NAS" box. You can just use any number of external storage devices that are big and cheap.

                It's not 1995 anymore. The only real reason to fixate on the cloud is devices that are intentionally crippled and need some proprietary service to make up for the fact that they can neither use standard external storage nor standard network protocols nor be freely accessed by non-proprietary tools.

                • .The only real reason to fixate on the cloud is devices that are intentionally crippled and need some proprietary service to make up for the fact that they can neither use standard external storage nor standard network protocols nor be freely accessed by non-proprietary tools.

                  Or for automatic synching of my files to all my devices...

                  • Now you went and ruined a perfectly good anti-Apple rant with common sense and a real understanding of what iCloud is attempting to offer.

                • ...except you don't need all of that nonsense to deal with a personal need.

                  Nope- you don't. Unless you want all the features that an enterprise rig actually has. Most individual consumers don't/won't need it, though - no matter who provides the 'cloud'.

                  I just found it funny that suddenly a slapped together box was 'just as good' as a SAN. Fact is, it isn't.

                  At my previous job, I had to convince a PHB that no, buying cheap arrays won't replace NetApp and EMC gear, and it took a *lot* of argument.

                  I finally demanded that he put his arguments in writing, on paper, so I had something to

        • They actually do keep your pics, but not permanently. That's what the whole "30 days" confusion was about during the keynote, which was later cleared up. Apple is betting on getting users into their ecosystem, at which point the only weakness in their approach (that your data is not accessible if you lack an iDevice nearby) becomes a moot point, since you'll always have an Apple-branded device present. Basically, both approaches look the same to the user so long as the user never accesses their data from de

      • Uhh... iCloud will crush google.... for one reason alone...iTunes Match.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          Google will probably do just fine, because you need iOS to use the other one.

          • Windows 7 in an iOS machine?

            my sansa can't play AAC files?

          • by node 3 (115640)

            Google will do just fine, but you're wrong on the other count. iCloud does not require iOS.

            • by iluvcapra (782887)

              You need at least one iOS machine to obtain an iCloud membership; that syncs up all your goodies to your Mac and PC and whatever else, but you must own at least one iOS device.

              • by node 3 (115640)

                You need at least one iOS machine to obtain an iCloud membership; that syncs up all your goodies to your Mac and PC and whatever else, but you must own at least one iOS device.

                That's not quite true.

                And if that does become true, you don't have to keep using iOS to continue using iCloud.

      • by Asic Eng (193332)

        There is a nice service available from Ubuntu, as well. (And yes they offered that before Apple did.)

        Now I can see why people would want to use the service from Apple - there might be a vendor lock-in issue, but I'm sure their offering is at least nicely put together.

        For Dell that's a bit of a different issue though - who on earth would want to be locked into Dell devices? And there are alternatives - like the already mentioned Ubuntu One, which can be accessed with Android and iPhone apps.

        • by node 3 (115640)

          There is a nice service available from Ubuntu, as well. (And yes they offered that before Apple did.)

          iTools and .Mac predated even the existence of Ubuntu itself, let alone Ubuntu One.

      • by jbplou (732414)

        I don't think Google is light years ahead of icloud, iTunes/app store blow away Googles offerings. Google is too handsoff with it's ecosystem.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I would rather not be tied to a particular company store. Most stuff that's wrapped in DRM and turned into the modern equivalent of a WinDOS application is pure data that doesn't really need such a dependency. This goes for Amazon too. Except they strive to have wider and more device support than Apple.

          • by node 3 (115640)

            I would rather not be tied to a particular company store.

            You're not. iCloud will accept music from anywhere, iTunes music is DRM-free, and iPods/iPhones/etc. can play music from any store that supports mp3 or aac (among other formats, but these basically cover the bases).

            Most stuff that's wrapped in DRM and turned into the modern equivalent of a WinDOS application is pure data that doesn't really need such a dependency.

            iTunes music isn't DRMd. It hasn't been for many years now.

            This goes for Amazon too. Except they strive to have wider and more device support than Apple.

            Which is of little import (and Amazon's music is DRM-free too).

            If you're just talking about the app side of things (a rather narrow scope, but maybe that's to go along with a narrow mind), I'd point out that most people just simply don't

            • But, I can't stand iTunes...even on my Macbook Pro. I'm pretty anal about my file naming, and folder/directory naming. I also have music on my NAS, and it's a pain to access via iTunes... I can't use newer iDevices without iTunes... My android contacts sync to my online contacts since I first got my G1, and I can manage my files/apps as I see fit, with options from many vendors.

              My biggest reasons for not using iOS devices are the lockin, and iTunes... Lion being online-only distro irks me as well. Not
              • by node 3 (115640)

                But, I can't stand iTunes...even on my Macbook Pro. I'm pretty anal about my file naming, and folder/directory naming. I also have music on my NAS, and it's a pain to access via iTunes...

                iTunes will use referenced music just fine.

                I can't use newer iDevices without iTunes...

                Yes you can. Well, technically you need iTunes right now to activate it (although Apple will do that for you in the store if you'd like), but starting this fall, you can use an iOS device 100% without ever using iTunes.

                My android contacts sync to my online contacts since I first got my G1

                So did my iPhone, ever since before you got your G1.

                and I can manage my files/apps as I see fit

                As can I, on my iPhone.

                with options from many vendors.

                As can I, on my iPhone. The only notable limitation is my apps have to come from Apple's App Store. This isn't something that bothers me, nor does it bother most people. If it

                • How do I get my music from my desktop to a newer iOS device without iTunes?

                  As to the contact sync, without connecting to the computer?

                  The fact remains, I don't like iTunes, and interaction with iOS devices is severely hampered without it. I tend to be pretty indifferent regarding my OSes, I happen to like aspects of Windows (7 is my fav), Linux (though Ubuntu since 9.04 has been downward slide imho) and OSX (though recent apple decisions irk me.
                  • by NekSnappa (803141)
                    My calendar, and contacts have been synced between different computers, and devices for the last few years via iMac/MobileMe. Never had to hook one up to the other for that.
        • My recent experience has been that Apple's App Store is a horrible swamp. It bogs down and my app updates die mid-transfer as often as they arrive. Just loading up the App Store icon takes my iPod Touch into a sloth-like state that it literally can't be shaken out of. It has the feel of a net presence that isn't scaling very well and so just isn't very usable anymore. I'd hate to be a developer dependent on the App Store bottleneck and counting on revenue out of it.

      • Google is light years ahead of the vapor-ware known as iCloud . For all we know iCloud will turn out as bad as Mobile Me , I mean .Mac , know I mean iTools.

        You forgot CyberDog and eWorld.

      • by node 3 (115640)

        "Apple rushed to market a delayed release of a copy of a competitors product".

        Fixed that for you.

        What is "iCloud" copying? It's a "cloud", but they aren't exactly copying anything here. They've had cloud services for a decade now.

        Google is light years ahead of the vapor-ware known as iCloud .

        Vaporware? Hardly. It's actually being tested right now. And parts of it are in use right now. "Vaporware" doesn't simply mean "unreleased", it means "more talk than substance", like, "oh, we're *totally* going to make this cool thing, trust us!".

        For all we know iCloud will turn out as bad as Mobile Me , I mean .Mac , know I mean iTools .

        Yeah, who knows. You can test it right now, though, if you'd like.

        Look here comes the fan boys to mod me through the floor.

        Don't act like a fanboy yourself then. The only actual, non-fanboy

        • by bongey (974911)

          but they aren't exactly copying anything here

          Almost EVERYTHING that iCloud is offering is already in Android and has been for some time.

          Vaporware? Hardly

          The difference between in test and released are completely two different sides of a coin.
          Also they did call it a "cloud" which is water vapor, thus vapor-ware.

          don't act like a fanboy yourself then

          No really I just get tired of all the fanboys in general.
          Apple fans are the worst right now. No matter what Apple markets people will buy it.

          Introducing the Apple iTurd, simply the best shit ever.

          If you don't have an iTurd you don't have shit

          CrapTime with the new iTurd, you cannot shit without it

          Doesn't matter people would talk about the great Apple's turds.

          • by mTor (18585)

            Almost EVERYTHING that iCloud is offering is already in Android and has been for some time.

            I don't think you understand what iCloud is. Google does things completely differently and it doesn't have app data backup, device backup etc.

            • by bongey (974911)
              No , I don't you really understand Google , they have a different philosophy. Just watch the videos on the chromebook.

              it doesn't have app data backup, device backup etc

              Do you have a clue what you are talking about? Have you even own an android device? None of my important data is actually has a primary storage on the device All my photos,contacts,music, ebooks,voice mail, everything that is important is synced.
              I have borrowed iTouch and iPad 2 for some time just to try them out for almost a week. IOS is behind Android end of story, get over it, no re

          • by node 3 (115640)

            but they aren't exactly copying anything here

            Almost EVERYTHING that iCloud is offering is already in Android and has been for some time.

            I asked what they are copying. I'm sure you can make an actual list. "Copying" doesn't simply mean "also doing". Otherwise, Google has been copying Apple for quite some time now. For example, Google is copying iTools, if your criteria for the term is so loose.

            Vaporware? Hardly

            The difference between in test and released are completely two different sides of a coin.

            They certainly are, and neither is on the "vaporware" side. Testing can be, but with Apple, it almost never is. They almost always release things that they've announced. That's not a proper characteristic for something labeled as vaporware.

            Also they did call it a "cloud" which is water vapor, thus vapor-ware.

            Droll.

            don't act like a fanboy yourself then

            No really I just get tired of all the fanboys in general.

            Apple fans are the worst right now. No matter what Apple markets people will buy it.

            That's

          • Apple fans are the worst right now?

            Hey, thanks for the good laugh early this morning. I love the Apple hating, spittle flying from their mouth Android fans who have lost all common sense and objectivity calling Apple fans bad.

      • by smash (1351)
        Best thing about icloud imho is the match service. which google doesn't have.
    • They can probably "set up clouds" in a few hours. You need connectivity and storage. They probably already have connectivity, and they already sell storage products.

      The only thing they needed was to install a few of their off-the-shelf SANs with their off-the-shelf clustering solutions in a few of their already existing data centres.
      The MOST work would probably have been to put software interfaces on their devices that talk to that storage. But that's also pretty standard stuff.

  • My advice (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @05:53PM (#36676048)

    I think the company should be sold and the money returned to it's shareholders.

    • Any shareholders who have the same belief can just sell their shares to the same effect. No need for particular action. They will get a much better deal than they would in a liquidation too.

  • From TFA:

    Ferrand described his business as a "brand war," where Dell is aspiring to become something like an Audi of the PC world, where the quality of its fit and finish is complemented by a faith in its superior engineering.

    Fit and finish are nice on an Audi, but it's still a lot to pay for a VW.

    (Disclaimer: I have a 1988 VW Rabbit and I love that old thing.)

    • by Altus (1034)

      Whats worse... fit and finish on Dells is pretty lousy.

    • by jbplou (732414)

      How back the fact that Audi doesn't make discount crap and Dell tries to compete in that market.

    • by sethstorm (512897)

      You meant IBM-Lenovo.

      What superior engineering comes from the company that wrote the book on why you don't send work offshore?

  • On Macs, iCloud will make sense because it's baked in. On PCs running Windows, anything Dell does will feel like bloatware. Dell is not Apple.

  • Dell will turn the cloud into a smog bank, full of crap and useless.
  • It will look like crap, run like crap and take over your entire PC to make windows work like crap.

    • The one thing Dell did right was to make a deal with Stardock. The Dell Dock is really nice, to the point where I wish I had it despite having paid the $20 for ObjectDock Plus. Dell has had the notoriety of bloatware, but it's come down quite a bit recently. Unless you get a really cheap laptop, you'll get your machine basically shipped with Windows, drivers, Dell Dock, Roxio burning software, PowerDVD, and a McAfee demo...and little else (possibly one or two desktop shortcuts). About the only thing I'd con

  • Does Dell want a crack at making another Danger Sidekick?

    I can see this used as an excuse to go short on the storage on a phone. The problem is that SD cards and large amounts of flash storage won't go down if the cloud goes down, are faster than the network hardware, and are not subject to the data caps that a carrier would put in.

    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      The problem is that SD cards and large amounts of flash storage won't go down if the cloud goes down, are faster than the network hardware, and are not subject to the data caps that a carrier would put in.

      It's only a matter of time before a Google or Apple or Dell, or even a Hulu or Netflix, make a deal to exempt their devices access to their servers from bandwidth caps, in exchange for giving the carriers a better cut of the subscriber or service revenue.

  • Remember when Dell used to have their own ideas, rather than bouncing around doing the corporate equivalent of "me too!" every 6 months? Yeah, me neither. (ObFullDisclosure: I used to work for Dell as a GTS -> Pro Support agent.)
  • The new release, which began shipping last week, allows users who snap a picture with a Dell Streak or other Dell mobile device to automatically upload it to a pool of free, shared cloud storage.

    Wow, Dell, way to innovate.

    Seriously, what's the point of this? Dell doesn't make anything that runs custom software--their PCs run Windows, like millions of others, and their phones run Android, like millions of others. So why do I need a Dell device to connect to some random cloud service? At least Apple has the excuse of tying things in at a very low level with the software that they, and only they, make. Plus, being the market leader makes things like this a little more compelling, like how you can find

  • Windows Mobile had this years ago. Ability to upload pictures/contacts etc... Might not have had all the services but bandwidth wasn't available at the time. Then Ms threw everything they had for 10 years out and started again with Phone 7.

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