More money for .Mac

by Jason Deraleau

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




So it's once again time to bring out my credit card and renew the ol' .Mac account. While there have been few major feature upgrades this year (as compared to last year), the Tiger Preview makes it sound like there is quite a bit of emphasis on .Mac in the next iteration of the Mac OS. Apparently, Apple has opened up the syncing features of .Mac to developers. I can only imagine the next version of apps that'll support it.



Thus, this time around, I'm renewing on the hope of new features. I did notice one great new feature in my .Mac Webmail. I don't know if this was added at some point and slipped by me, but you can create aliases for your .Mac email address. A great way to create a temporary, throw-away address for registering on that questionable web site. A nice little extra. Plus it's nice to get all the little .Mac freebies throughout the year. Discounts, games, and other goodies definitely help me get more out of my hundred bucks.



And, well, let's face it: there's just something cool about being @mac.com. Fanboys unite!



Gonna renew this year?


13 Comments

mikejford
2004-09-29 07:32:14
Not impressed
I ponied up a couple years ago when the whole iTools -> .Mac conversion was announced. Here was a great company making a foray into "web services" that would Just Work&tm;.


Now, two years later, I am left wondering whether it's worth betting $99US on the future. The useful free downloads have slowed to a trickle. They have been replaced by the more common discount on software that I don't really see a need for. The iDisk space is, well, spacious. There is a heavy focus on synchronization, which is great if you find yourself behind a couple, or more, Macs a day, but I'm finding that my PowerBook does it all for me.


And then, there is that tiny corner of email which is clearly being considered the black sheep of the .Mac offering. I liked having my @mac.com address, but I find that I like getting my email too. Connection and database issues aside, I hit that 15MB limit too early and too often. Maybe it's laziness, or maybe it's because I conceptually compartmentalize things from me vs. things from other people, but the fact is that over half a year after Google dropped the bomb and the other free providers began following suit (albeit not as lavish), .Mac, the pay-for service, offers 1.5% of GMail's space and 6% of HotMail's.


So, in the descending ranking of features I use, email, web, syncing, Apple continues to fail in addressing what my dollar demands.


Instead of betting $228US dollars on the future (.Mac + OS X Tiger), I'd rather spend my money on services that I want fulfilled as the customer. Will I feel regret if this is addressed after my account expires? No, because if it takes me and a few users like me to rock the bottom line, then I'll have done my job to demand quality service from a quality company. Features that don't exist yet for me don't qualify as a carrot when I have to stick out $99US right now.

mbrewer
2004-09-29 07:32:37
Expiring this round
I'm going to let my account expire this go round. Dot Mac simply isn't keeping up with the Joneses and I'm not going to throw money at them until they do.


The storage quotas that Dot Mac provides for $99 a year are sad. Even ignoring their competition, I know that their storage costs are lower per megabyte this year than last year and yet they can't be bothered to pass this value along to their customers.


There is no benefit to renewing your account in anticipation of new features in Tiger. You don't get a discount for renewing. And you don't lose your user ID. I'm going to take a wait and see attitude on it this year.

mbrewer
2004-09-29 07:36:45
Not impressed
I completely agree with you. Hopefully Apple will be hit with low enough renewal rates for them to take another look at their quotas.
restiffbard
2004-09-29 08:01:04
iDisk
Just learned this like a second after reading this post.


iDisk is now 250MB. Suddenly, not so bad.

pw2131
2004-09-29 08:07:04
Not impressed
Lost a bunch of messages yesterday from the latest e-mail flop. A number of them forwards to a sick relative. No more telephone support. An Apple agent who told me nothing was wrong with the system, that it must be my local server, and then argued with me that I should be heading off to a public library to check my account. 500 MB account - hundreds of dollars - definitely not renewing for this paltry amount of space and an attitude that is beginning to sound *not so different*.
jldera
2004-09-29 08:23:08
RE: iDisk
I just saw that as well. But I noticed that it's 250MB for iDisk AND your mail. Works for me!
mbrewer
2004-09-29 08:40:21
Expiring this round (maybe)
As if by cue...


"The combined storage for your .Mac Mail and iDisk has been increased to 250 MB. That means you now have additional room for your email messages and mail attachments, web pages, and backups. Need even more storage? You also have the option of upgrading your .Mac account to 1 GB for US$49.95 per year." -- http://www.mqc.com/


I'm not sure if that is enough. But, it is making me reconsider. They do have better information at their site, too.

tflight
2004-09-29 08:41:31
Why pay $99 ?
When you can pay $79 at Small Dog?
mbrewer
2004-09-29 08:58:54
Expiring this round (probably not)
OK, I'm probably not going to renew. I have an extra "e-mail only" account for my wife. Since these accounts were upped to 50MB storage with this update, I was hoping they would also be able to partition it between Mail and Idisk. No luck. I think I'm going to hold out until they start allowing this. It'd be really nice if she was at least able to sync her Address Book so she could use those addresses with Webmail and not need to worry about keeping the ones on our desktop in sync with the ones on our laptop.


I just set up an auto-reply for my account last week that I was going to let my account expire because of the pathetic storage requirements. Maybe if I change it today to say that I'm still going to let it expire but because of this new reason, Apple will add that feature next week. :)

mbrewer
2004-09-29 08:59:57
Expiring this round (probably)
OK, I'm probably not going to renew. I have an extra "e-mail only" account for my wife. Since these accounts were upped to 50MB storage with this update, I was hoping they would also be able to partition it between Mail and Idisk. No luck. I think I'm going to hold out until they start allowing this. It'd be really nice if she was at least able to sync her Address Book so she could use those addresses with Webmail and not need to worry about keeping the ones on our desktop in sync with the ones on our laptop.


I just set up an auto-reply for my account last week that I was going to let my account expire because of the pathetic storage requirements. Maybe if I change it today to say that I'm still going to let it expire but because of this new reason, Apple will add that feature next week. :)

mikejford
2004-09-29 14:07:48
Not impressed
A quick followup to my own post based on the buzz of the .Mac upgrades announced today based on the feedback I just sent in.


This is a case where some people just can't be pleased. I'm one of those, but I think I'm justified. I have no problems with Apple springing a new iMac G5 or a new iPod without any advance notice. If I need the new product, I'll budget my money accordingly, and purchase it when I can. And here is a direct distinction between a commodity and a service. .Mac is a service, and user's have to pay for it in advance. As the original article states, he's betting his money that the services will be good. He's also betting his money that it'll be worth waiting up to another 8 months before these new services are even available.


That's the folly. It shouldn't be a gamble at all. I'm willing to put money into services that I believe in, not money into services that I believe might come.


They came today, but I didn't know they would come, and it would be folly to gamble. So I didn't budget for the renewal, because I didn't believe that the current batch of service was worth it.


So, what exactly did I tell Apple? Most of the above, and I also mentioned that they don't seem to have a problem announcing a product that won't be available for anywhere from a couple of weeks (iMac G5) to a couple of months (PowerMac dual G5 2.5, iPod mini) to nearly a year (OS X Tiger). I just didn't understand why they couldn't have mentioned that when the next renewal period comes up for original .Mac subscribers (call it a celebration of their second anniversary of .Mac), they'd be extending the disk space available in iDisk and email for everyone. I can hardly see how that would have lost money.

TedWallingford
2004-10-20 05:26:59
Not worth the hundred bucks
It hurts that I've paid Apple's .Mac fee for the past 3 years, and here's why: DOT MAC adds little value to the Mac proposition. These are some simple things Apple can do to change that.


- There's no domain hosting on .Mac?? How cool would it be if you could use "home page" with your own domain name? A lot more people would find it nifty at that point..
- Arbitrary / unpublished limits on bandwidth utilization. Hey, if I am going to pay for it, I want to know what IT is!
- The web-based mail client plain sucks. Checking email from a PC is always a pain.
- No discount on iTunes tunes? ARGH. Just give a dime off each one and I'll gladly pay you a hundred bucks a year from now until eternity.


sty3gkh@mail.ru
2006-06-06 21:31:38
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