Dear Uncle Steve
Like half of Mac-dom I was keenly following each and every update posted on the Web during the recent WWDC. I even downloaded the video of your Stevenote just in case the coverage I watched missed something important. I drank deeply of the KoolAid that night and was determined to wait my turn for an iPhone 3G, until a day or two later when your narcotic wore off.
Last night I decided to try another of the seemingly fabulous items you announced: MobileMe. At least I decided to try out that 60 free trial of .Mac which, according to all reports, will soon be reborn into MobileMe.
Signing up was really easy and, at first, there was quite a thrill as I starting to plug all my applications into .Mac and watched everything sync with everything else in the background. I even got myself another email address (not quite the one I wanted but one that works). It was fun and I was starting to see how I could share my calendars with my wife so easily and how I could just do all this cool connected stuff that has probably been possible all along using other services but which just didn’t share the Mac karma like .Mac does and like MobileMe will.
Heck, I even got my wife to roll her eyes and that is the single biggest indicator that I am deep in Macland without a GPS.
As before with the iPhone I spent a little more time looking at what other people think about MobileMe on its own and compared to other solutions like Google’s basket of goodies and it turned out that all was not golden or delicious in the land of .Mac (soon to be MobileMe). Sure there is some cool stuff like automatically pushing updates to all my devices (at the moment I only really have one – my MacBook) but I can access IMAP mail already using Gmail. I have Google Calendar too which theoretically syncs well with my Mac using Spanning Sync (ok, the less I say about my Spanning Sync experiences the better) and Plaxo itself. You even made it possible for me to sync my Mac address book with Yahoo! and Gmail straight out of Address Book.
The fact that there are other services out there which do similar things isn’t the end of the story for me. .Mac does it all so much better and I am sure MobileMe will be even better than .Mac. What is a bit of a show-stopper is the $99 price tag for a single user (compared to that the $149 price tag for the family account isn’t too bad, but still). Granted that works out to less than $10 a month, it still costs more than I pay Plaxo for my premium subscription and what I dropped on Spanning Sync a couple months ago for this year’s subscription. I don’t know why you do this to me Uncle Steve. That is a lot of cash to spend on a service that is so similar to the free options and double the cost of a paid service that does almost the same thing. And it isn’t like the deal is that good to justify such a price. Sure 20GB is a lot of space for mail and files but I pay a lot less than $99 for a lot more storage space on Amazon’s S3 service and I get a 6GB mailbox (and counting) on Gmail. So what’s the big deal with MobileMe? The cool interface and built in connectivity with my Mac? Sure that is in your favour but the price tag just doesn’t cut the mustard or do whatever it should do to make sense to me.
Of course I could be missing something and I’ll be using the rest of my trial to figure that out. I don’t think I am missing anything though. I just think you are being a little unreasonable here.
Your loyal, yet slowly fading fan,