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iCloud Beta goes live for a lucky, random few

New, 129 comments is live and some people are able to log in - reports are rolling in that some developers and some non-developers seem to have access. The site is a Beta and features links to Contacts, Calendar, Find My iPhone, an iWork placeholder page, and finally, despite Apple's original statement to us, a web mail client.

The tipster who sent us the screenshots you see here said that, at least in Safari, iCloud offers some clever animations, the ability to locally cache calendar data, and an interface that matches the same apps in Mac OS X Lion -- all the way down to providing full preferences within each web app. Apple previously said that iCloud would launch officially in the fall, so it's likely that this release is meant just for developers despite those reports of non-developers getting access. Follow along after the break for a slew of pics which should look eerily familiar...

Update: Apple has updated their iCloud information page with a link to details on upgraded storage pricing. If the standard free 5GB isn't enough for you, there are options to buy an extra 10GB for $20/year, 20GB for $40/year, and 50GB for $100/year (via The Loop).

Update 2: Based on comments here and emails we've been receiving, it's clear that the site is open for a fairly large group of users — though functionality appears to be hit or miss for much of the service.