Is it Dot Mac time again?

by Michael Brewer

Related link: http://www.mac.com/



Hi. I'm Michael Brewer. You may remember me from such articles as Dissecting Dot Mac and Dot Mac Reloaded. It's that time of the year again for many people -- Dot Mac renewal time. Dot Mac has been mature for long enough that there really isn't much to warrant another article over. However, there is one pernicious detail that will probably be the key reason people decide not to renew this year.

It's Google. How does Google affect Dot Mac? As you all know, Google has started giving away 1 GB mailboxes with its new Gmail service. Yahoo has followed suit and now gives away 100 MB of mail storage and for $20 a year will give you 2 GB. How much does Apple sell for $100 a year? 15 Megabytes. As you can see Apple is behind the times. Now, I know that Apple doesn't place ads into the messages like Gmail and Yahoo (even on the paid account), but they're considerably behind and need to step up their storage somewhat.

I'd like to see Apple provide 500 MB mailboxes and up the iDisk storage to 200 MB. That'd give Dot Mac subscribers 700 MB total allocated space, and I know it'd take a long while for me to even break 50% of that mail storage quota. This would also be a good way to get Dot Mac users to be almost guaranteed locks as Tiger customers. That much storage coupled with Spotlight would be insanely great. And it'd persuade me to renew this year. Otherwise, I'm not sure Dot Mac is worth it.

Do you plan to renew your Dot Mac subscription this year?


14 Comments

osviews.com
2004-07-21 09:00:46
o c'mon...
Your article is like so many others I've seen that responded to G-mail news.


It implies that .Mac is only comprised (or even primarily comprised) of its e-mail service. e-mail is a small fraction of that which makes up Apple's subscription service. While I'm not saying that I don't want more e-mail storage, to imply that they HAVE to change simply because other e-Mail services are changing is a gross overgeneralization of the great service Apple offers in .Mac.

mwalker
2004-07-21 09:10:48
15 Megabytes
Personally, I've never filled up my 15 megs of email space on .Mac. But then, I read my email every day and store important saved messages locally.


When Google announced GMail, my first thought was "Why does anybody need this much storage?" :-)


And, as another poster pointed out, .Mac is a lot more than just email. The most important thing about .Mac, to me, is the convenience of using it. I dump something into my iDisk at work, and it's home when I get there. I take a bunch of photos, and I can put them online with little effort. I think .Mac is great, and I have designed and built my own websites, so I'm not a newbie.

F.J.
2004-07-21 09:22:27
My beloved .Mac
Good morning !


First of all, thanks for sharing your views with us, it is most interesting.


As a .Mac user and maintainer of many accounts since the early days of iTools, I have never regretted my subscriptions or the subscriptions I have taken on the behalf of others.


Indeed, the suite of .Mac services provides a quality and consistency that is difficult to find elsewhere. The .Mac postmasters for example, do an excellent work at preventing SPAM and viruses from going through the network. What's more, .Mac offers many features that are not to be found anywhere else, with the same degree of simplicity and integration with an operating system.


Of course, no service is perfect, even the best, and I am sure that .Mac can (and will) continue to evolve. Nevertheless, I think that it is and remains a bargain when all the elements are taken into account.


Again, thanks for an interesting blog !


F.J.

robmiller
2004-07-21 10:01:03
Is it that time to bitch about .Mac again???
Certainly .Mac does not have all the feature set, but just being able to sync from one computer to the next and take my bookmarks with me makes it worth $99 to me. Yep, you can do that with free programs and a headache, but I like .Mac. Also, the homepage feature is worth the $99 and there is much more.
sumanmanandhar
2004-07-21 10:23:59
Ever heard of spymac?
Here is Internet's First 1GB FREE Email site (yes it seems they did it even before Google's Gmail).

http://www.spymac.com


One gigabyte of free email !!! Hotmail offers a paltry 2 MB and Yahoo has been offering 100 MB lately for free. I just joined spymac and 2GB bliss.


This is what I got (all for free):

===
Your account includes:
1 GB e-mail account, [[sumankm]]@[[spymac.com]]*
250 MB of space to upload pictures in the Spymac Gallery
100 MB free space on Spymac Hosting with WebDAV access*
Free iCal Hosting (both public and private)*
Access to the Spymac Forums and Shoutbox
Your very own Spymac Blog*
Access to the Spymac Auctions
The ability to create your very own personal Gallery and Forum
===


This is in comparison to Apple's .mac offering of 100 MB of iDisk plus 15 MB of email storage (and a ridiculous price of US$ 99.95 per annum for that). Wake up Apple!! Hello!!!




http://packetlog.typepad.com/packetlog/2004/07/spymac_vs_dotma.html

joshuawait
2004-07-21 18:04:08
Web Portals and Email Providers for Personal Use Only?
I have greatly enjoyed .Mac from the time it was iTools.


I have a web site that I host through an ISP and I have a sufficient enough email box with them to drop .Mac altogether. In fact, since I can design web pages I don't need Home Page templates.


However, when it comes to publishing some photos from iPhoto, I just want to get the photos up with the click of a button and .Mac provides that.


I also appreciate being able to synchronize my contacts with a web portal. I like being able to jump on another computer and see my address book in a web portal.


How important is it for other readers to download their email to a client app like Mail?


I find downloading email to a client fits better into my workflow. After all, if I'm not connected to the internet I can still read my email.


Do you read your personal email with providers like GMail, Hotmail or Yahoo!? Or do you use it for work?


My impression, and maybe it's false, is that these email providers are attractive for personal use since one can read personal email and pretend to be working.


What do you want from an email provider that your not getting? Does 1 GB space really make that much of a difference? How important is .Mac integration to you?

mbrewer
2004-07-21 19:30:04
My beloved .Mac
I don't think I failed to take all of the elements into account. As you can see in my prior two full articles on Dot Mac, I'm aware of its benefits. I just think that now is time for Apple to step up their storage. With Gmail offering 1 GB mailboxes free, Yahoo offering 2 GB mailboxes for $20 and as Suman says Spymac offering 1 GB free along with some other services; 15 GB mailboxes with Dot Mac is pathetic. I've run into this limit more often than I expected. And I've been using Mail's automated purge of the Sent and Trash folders when messages are a month old.


The other services are great. I'm not discounting them. I love the synchronization between my Mac and the Webmail, Address Book, and Bookmarks applications on the Web. It's great being able to easily throw up a gallery from iPhoto. But none of this excuses the pitifully small mailbox size for a paid service. At the very least Dot Mac should equal Yahoo's free accounts with 100 MB storage.


If Apple is serious about search (Mail's search field & Spotlight in the future), increasing their mailbox storage on Dot Mac is the first step they need to take.

mbrewer
2004-07-21 19:49:01
o c'mon...
I'm sorry, but I have to say that my article implies no such thing. As you can see in the two links at the top of the post, I'm well aware of Dot Mac's benefits. It's just that in 2004 and into 2005, 15 MB mailboxes are no longer competitive.


I think that a lot of people are going to look at the services that Dot Mac provides and determine that that combined with 115 MB total storage isn't quite worth what it used to be when they look at the competition. Especially when their new camera sports 6 Megapixels instead of 2, they've finally bought a DV camera with FireWire, and they have a few tunes they made in GarageBand that they'd like to share.

moonshark413
2004-07-21 20:00:21
Can you get G-Mail or Yahoo via a Mail Client?
Access to your email via a "real" mail client is a crucial advantage of the .Mac account, one that bloviating commentators always fail to mention. Personally, I cant remember using the webmail portionof .Mac - but then I have a laptop...


Any comparison of .mac to G-Mail should mention that .Mac is a suite of services, whereas G-Mail is the only offering of Google. Yahoo! provides the most diverse services of any provider.

mbrewer
2004-07-21 20:14:17
Can you get G-Mail or Yahoo via a Mail Client?
Yes, Yahoo Mail Plus ($20) does allow mail client access via POP which is inferior to Dot Mac's -- and FastMail's -- IMAP access.


It seems that a lot of people took this post to be damning of Dot Mac in all aspects, when it was really just trying to point out how silly 15 MB seems in the face of 1 GB. And how that seriously reduces Dot Mac's relative value in the eyes of many people -- myself included.


Of course, it was also intended to spark debate, which is the reason for this comments section. :)

dscotson
2004-07-22 15:25:43
.mac SDK
Speaking as the owner of both a gmail and .mac account I don't consider them direct competitors in any way.


Rather than stirring up a hornet's nest with a rather one-dimensional comparison (100MB + 15MB vs 1GB) I'd rather see a serious exploration of where the two services overlap and the potential for .mac expansion in the future.


Things I'd like to see:


* spell-checking dictionary sync'd with (and between) my desktops
* Easy access to the new .mac alias functionality in Mail.app
* Colored labels sync'd
* A way to easily place a file on .mac and email the resulting link in a single action


RalfS
2004-07-24 02:31:38
Included system software
An absolute "go buy" argument for .Mac would be if the MacOS X Updates would be included. Perhaps for a little less more.


There is nothing else that .Mac makes special to me over other services.

johnparr
2004-07-30 21:13:51
i 2nd michaels comment...
I agree with Michael. I too have run out of space for my mail as well. I have always tried to stay on top by archiving stuff off of Apples servers but there are times when I can't get around to it. 15 megs is too small. I will however accept 15 megs for mail for a little more on the idisk side. I also think that 100 megs for an idisk is too small given that many apps and data files have grown considerably from what they were five years ago.


Consider the .Mac backup utility. I can only really backup bookmarks and a couple of data files. 1 Gig is a reasonable amount for a .Mac member. They could divide that into say 100 megs for mail and then .99 gigs for the disk portion. With this amount you might be able to at least backup your documents folder.


As an example lets look at iStorage


They give you 50 megs for 2.49/Month or 24.95/year, and 100 Megs @ 3.95/month or 39.95/year, examining their rates further....


250MB @ 79.95/Year


500MB @ 119.95/Year


1Gig @ 179.95


...so already for 20.00 more a year you are getting 5 times the storage that dot Mac gives you if you go for their 500MB @ 119.95.


This is in no way an Apple bash but history has shown us that they charge a little more for their goods and services but paying a little more for something that works great is worth it don't you agree? It's a good value I think when you get high quality devices.


The problem is that in the past they have started out high and then over time adjusted prices as costs come down. But in some instances they forgot to compare themselves to the competition with some products and ended up prices themselves out/off of the market and in this case the competition is considerably lower.


As another example look at Ofoto.com...their photo book is the one that Apple offers when you order a photo book through iPhoto. Now you have to figure that Apple is getting a special rate but if you look at the prices you will see we dont' get as good a deal with Apple as with Ofoto.


Apples photo book 29.95 for 10 pages, Ofoto's same price for 20 pages. Apples additional pages cost $3.00 each, Ofoto's 2.00 each. Certainly if Apple is trimming down the admin costs of ordering through their "One-Click" system then couldn't they at least pass it on to the customer?


Anyway, I didn't mean to get off the topic. Bottom line. Apple should lower their .Mac price or give you more storage at the get go.


Spymac's deal is fabulous but I am always weary of services that are free only because we have seen some services fold. I would rather pay a little and know that they will be around next month then to pay nothing and end up having to move my files or email accounts later.


Linda Milazzo
2006-06-07 14:28:36
Apple treats its customers like crap!!!!


I find it deplorable that with the huge amount of money Apple makes that it doesn't provide phone support for .mac. It's another case of Apple's insensitivity to the needs of its customers... who for Apple are seen less as needed consumers and more as money fools. Anyone who has used Apple products for any length of time knows how difficult Apple has made it to be their customer. The words "we don't support Apple products" have been heard by every Apple customer at one time or other. And that's ALWAYS Apple's stubborn, self-serving fault. Customer needs (not product worth) are always the last thing Apple considers. They make a great product but treat their customers like crap!! I think .mac should be boycotted until Apple has enough respect for its customer base to provide phone support and begin providing its customers with good service and espect!!