Foresight often isn’t enough in the technology industry, without good timing and execution.

Apple will be testing this theory once again with the upcoming release of its iCloud synchronization service, along with the new iOS 5 operating system. As an alert GeekWire reader points out, the promotional video that Apple released for iCloud yesterday, above, looks a lot like the vision that Microsoft laid out for its Live Mesh synchronization service three years ago.

Microsoft is still pursuing the strategy, using Windows Live SkyDrive and related services to synchronize content between Windows Phones, computers and other devices. But as noted in the past by Ars Technica and AllThingsD, the company has struggled to come up with a comprehensive, cohesive service that makes the experience as seamless as the company envisioned years ago.

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 promises to improve the situation, giving every Windows user a SkyDrive account for synching content, applications and settings.

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  • Guest

    It wouldn’t be the first time that Apple copied MS before MS could get their vision out. Remember Longhorn?

    MS simply isn’t agile.

    • Anonymous

      There is a difference between saying you are going to do something and actually accomplishing that goal. The idea of the cloud and seamless access to your data has been around much longer than Live Mesh.

    • Daniel Eran Dilger

      Actually, the most visible new feature of Longhorn/Vista was that it used a new high performance, hardware accelerated graphics system enabling translucency effects, something Apple delivered in Mac OS X before Longhorn was even demoed. So Vista was not just “late in getting their vision out,” but actually more of an example of Microsoft copying Apple.

      • Guest

        I know it hurts a fanboi like you to hear the truth. Deal with it.

  • Guest

    Thank you for reporting this. Apple claim to be an innovative company, but by copying Microsoft they are simply not so. I have no choice but to recommend that my clients refrain from purchasing iCloud.

    • Daniel Eran Dilger

      iCloud is free. It just works for Macs and iOS users. So your “recommendation” that your clients not purchase it is as ignorant as the phony reason you are upset about it.

      • Guest

        You have no idea whether it just works or not because it hasn’t been released. And of course currently it’s running on Amazon and Azure, which has to be kind of embarrassing for a raving Apple fanboy like yourself.

  • Hemangsf

    Apple is innovative, and they are just way better at bringing innovation to the market than anybody else.  No one outside of Apple knows what they’ve envisioned until they announce it at an event, so they could have come up with this idea before Microsoft.  An if they did copy MicroSoft, then Apple did in less than 3 years what Microsoft is still dreaming about, I think that’s innovation.
    Also, iCloud is free, you have to buy the devices and content for it to work.

    • Yetter

      You may not be aware if you own a window phone you get skydrive for free.  Also it looks like anyone who owns windows will also get skydrive for free in the near future

      • Daniel Eran Dilger

        So outside of the WP7 phones Dell bought for all of its employees, that means there will be like what, two dozen Skydrive users? 

        • Guest

          Try millions. But then you’re often not in possession of the facts.

  • Mason B.

    Actually it goes back further than that, as most of what is going today is right out of Bill Gates’ book “The Road Ahead”.  Much of what Microsoft talked about in the early 90’s is just now coming to fruition, and it is being done by other companies.  Microsoft gets dinged a lot for not being innovative, but I think they are very innovative and primarily suffer on execution right now as you correctly note above. 

    • Guest

      Innovation isn’t about sitting around, daydreaming and producing fluffy videos. It’s about executing on your ideas and bringing them to market. 
      I can sit on my lazy chair and dream up flying cars, moon stations or cloud synchronization, but that doesn’t make me innovative.

    • Guest

      “Give me a half-baked idea that gets to market over the perfect idea stuck on a whiteboard.”

  • Ashim

    I am sorry but your research sucks. Steve Jobs talked about the iCloud strategy at WWDC 1997 (yes.. not 2007- 1997). And he had been using this cloud setup for more than 5 years already then. Who copied who?

    • Guest

      NFS != iCloud. And MS and many others were delivering that limited NFS vision at the time. You guys need to step getting your talking points from Dilger.

  • Li Zhe

    Steve had talked about iCloud back in WWDC 1997…

  • Anonymous

    Dude makes a lot of sense dude.

  • Daniel Eran Dilger

    iCloud is also a lot like the cloud services Steve Jobs detailed to attendees at Apple’s WWDC 1997, where he described the sophisticated network services he used at NeXT and Pixar, but were too expensive and complex to bring to the market yet. But now iCloud is ready, and free. 

    I don’t think Windows users will be getting free cloud services that work anything like iCloud, so what’s the relevance of Microsoft’s “vision” statement presented a decade after Jobs publicly shared his? 

    Or are you just ignorant about the past and are desperately trying to give Microsoft credit for things they were actually late to the game on? Speaking of which, Windows 8.

    • Guest

      Late to the game? You mean like Apple was in music players, smartphones, TV, tablets, cloud services?

  • Chappy Pdg

    Yeah but MS frustrates and causes you hours of headache and Apple just works!

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