This story is fascinating, at least to me. In essence Google and Apple are making plays for the cloud service market. The Apple approach is provide service to supplement the, coordinate, and backup data on PC and other personal devices. Google’s sounds more centralized, and focuses on cloud service basically completely replacing the PC and other personal data devices.
In other words Apple will enhance and partially replace the PC. Google wants to exterminate the PC.
I find this fascinating for a number of reasons. One is that I see it as race between falling prices of bandwidth and computing power, so the power of relative price (there’s the economics!) shape how technology and society evolve. Google is betting on falling price and greater availability of bandwidth making any need to have hardware to store process data in your home disappear. Apple is expecting falling prices for bandwidth, but I think recognizes that prices of processing data at home will continue to fall also, and Apple isn’t willing to bet the farm so much on centralization of data processing storage.
All in all, I’m skeptical of wanting to concentrate data so much. It seems like a little bit of through back. Computers data processing back in the day were huge and very centralized. The fall in computing power distributed computing power into everyone’s hands.
It’s a little like private cars displacing centralized transportation. A displacement that a lot of government effort has mostly been unable to reverse. I’m hesitant to bet the farm against Google, but I’m skeptical for their nostalgia for centralized data as well.