Seeking Alpha: Apple’s Revamp of .Mac Will Disrupt Industry

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If Steve Jobs revamps .Mac as promised at All Things Digital Last year, Apple could be set for a major disruption in the industry that paints a dire picture for the competition, according to Seeking Alpha on Monday.

"Hundreds of large manufacturers, software companies and publishers ... will soon feel the pressure of Appleis increasing dominance of our digital lives," wrote Colin Pape. From what heis been able to surmise, Appleis seamless integration of key technologies is going to make life suddenly tougher for Web developers, ISPs, graphic designers and others.

The author recapped the groundwork that Apple has been laying with ease of use, iTunes, and the iPhone/iPod touch and suggested that all of the work that Apple has done to date will emerge in a breakthrough that will be tied together with the new .Mac renamed Me.com.

According to TheDomains.com, Apple purchased the domain name "Me.com." and the administrator is the same Apple employee, Ken Eddings, who is responsible for some other Apple owned domains. The DNS update came about the time rumors surfaced, based on some Apple code snippets tucked away in iCal, Mail and Safari that pointed to a name change for .Mac.

Mr. Pape cited the potential of a next generation, tightly integrated, Web publishing system: "...an Apple user can take photos or videos and easily edit them to near-professional quality with a couple of quick clicks. They can then easily insert them into professional document templates for various types of publications - websites, galleries, calendars, etc. and then easily publish this information directly to their .Me account, which is then available on the web to everyone.

".Me will likely also act as an online identity management system that handles DRM and web service authentication. It will likely wind up based on OpenID or an equivalent standard and make it easy for users to create and consume digital information at various external sites such as Google or Facebook. .Me will control all of the information that is given to or received from these services through one location - a .Me account."

The advantage that Apple has over other companies, when it comes to a technology like .Mac, is that the company has a real world connection with its customers unmatched by any other competitor. In addition, Apple has a mechanism already has in place to charge for services.

The author suggested that Appleis new .Mac service could easily place all the competition on the defensive so severely that they might never be able to catch up.

TMO recalls the following conversation Steve Jobs had with Walt Mossberg at All Things Digital in late May, 2007.

Walt: You obviously have a very large Internet business with iTunes and you sell a lot of stuff in the Apple Store, but, you know, you were early with this idea that when you bought a computer from Apple, you had this kind of Internet service back end, and it was called ".Mac". And I think a lot of people feel you haven?t developed it very much.

Steve: I couldn?t agree with you more, and we?ll make up for lost time in the near future.

When Mr. Jobs makes that kind of promise, something is sure to happen as a result.

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