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I have a program which uses Mac OS X's Grand Central Dispatch queueing technology to handle multi-core programming. However, I notice that, in the near future, Microsoft is expecting to roll out cloud-based multicore programming where you can run your parallel programs on a ridiculously large (8,000+ core) setup with a pay-by-the-hour setup.

Are there currently plans for Apple to offer similar iCloud-based "Big Computing" in the near future? Is there already something like that which exists that I am unaware of?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

No - Apple stopped selling both its enterprise storage Xserve RAID as well as its enterprise server Xserve in February 2008 and January 2011 respectively. Even the workstation-class Mac Pro has only seen incremental updates over time so the only way to get "into the cloud" with Apple as of late 2012 is by developing software that uses their iCloud API and service.

The only credible rumor of Apple product is the very vague announcement to the "Pro user community" from a short email by Tim Cook that promised that Apple are "working on something really great" for later in 2013. Whether that is going to be new (and perhaps cloud-based) hardware or software or just a re-design of what we've already seen is left to a lot of rumor and speculation at present.

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That is most unfortunate (for me, can't speak regarding Apple's overall policy) because that is one thing I do love about using my Mac Pro workstation is that multi-core processing was an absolute breeze. Trying to wrap my brain around the .NET Parallel library is an absolute nightmare. At least I know what my options are. – Charles Nov 27 '12 at 23:03
I would say expect Apple to only move into spaces where they can substantially blow away what the competition is offering as well as to serve a very large user-base. If the service isn't going to be useful to a large fraction of it's AppleID/iTunes store audience - I can't imagine them devoting any resources when they have so much they can improve on things where millions of people are already in the ecosystem. Maps, Siri, calendars and contacts that work in the workplace, etc... – bmike Nov 27 '12 at 23:08

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