Reports that Apple has hired a senior Microsoft datacentre expert have sparked speculation of the company's plans to expand its cloud services portfolio.
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Microsoft confirmed Kevin Timmons, general manger of Microsoft's datacentre services, had left the company. Internet reports suggest he has taken up a similar senior position at Apple.
"Kevin Timmons, general manager of Datacentre Services, has decided to pursue other career opportunities and is no longer working at Microsoft. We appreciate the contributions he made to Microsoft during his time here," said Dayne Sampson, corporate vice president of global foundation services at Microsoft.
Tony Lock, programme director at Freeform Dynamics, says the move could imply Apple are looking to expand its current cloud service with a cloud-based iTunes store service.
But Lock says the cloud services are likely to be consumer-focused. "Business are not rushing to adopt any type of big cloud service because of the barriers, such as security and the ease of moving between service providers," he said.
Timmons joined Microsoft in 2009 after spending 10 years at Yahoo as vice president of operations. He also previously worked for GeoCities as director of operations.
In an interview with DatacenterDynamics, Timmons said, "Scalability, security and availability seem to be the top three things that I hear from customers. They want to know how quickly we can ramp up capacity to meet their demands, how secure their data will be in our facilities and what our track record is in regards to availability."
Apple recently built a new datacentre in North Carolina in the US.