Mix one hint from Google's Eric Schmidt with a two-word non-denial from Apple's Steve Jobs, and what do you get? A prediction from Wired blogger Fred Vogelstein that Jobs will announce a partnership between the two companies at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco next week.
The idea is that Apple will tap into Google's "cloud computing" infrastructure, offering Macintosh customers cheaper email and Web storage.
At the moment, Apple users pay nearly $100 a year for 1GB of storage on the company's .Mac service, while Google offers gigabyte after gigbyte for free. "We're a perfect back-end to the problems that [Apple is] trying to solve," Schmidt told Vogelstein in April. "They have very good judgment on user interface and people. But they don't have this supercomputer (that Google has), which is the data centers."
Google's cloud computing model operates much like age-old water and gas utilities, pooling computing resources from a vast array of machines and applying them to a common task.
Last week, when Vogelstein asked Jobs why .Mac lagged so far the Google paradigm, the Apple CEO said "stay tuned." ®