Washington Post Columnist Gives .Mac Thumbs Down

Itis been almost 3 weeks since MACWORLD New York and Steve Jobsi introduction of .Mac, long enough for the initial negative reaction to the cancellation of iTools to subside. Whatis left has left a decidedly negative taste in the mouths of many, including Washington Post columnist, Rob Pegoraro, who sums up his view of .Mac in an article titled "A New Desktop That Makes Dollars Disappear." From the article:

Last month, Apple undertook a different sort of experiment. Now itis trying to integrate an annual fee into the computer desktop, replacing iTools with the $99.95/year .Mac service (current iTools members pay a $49.95 discount for the first year). The new .Mac service -- for Mac OS X only -- enhances some of the original iTools offerings and adds some items.

But it doesnit add up to $100 worth of value. Thatis a problem for Appleis users, who must ante up to preserve their Mac.com e-mail addresses, iDisks and Web pages after the Sept. 30 shutdown of iTools. But itis a problem for Apple, too, since some of the more attractive features of Mac OS X now come with a price tag.

Mr. Pegararo goes on to point out what he likes and dislikes about each of the .Mac services, then sums it up this way:

Donit get me wrong; I am perfectly willing to pay for a service like iDisk or HomePage -- just not $100 a year.

Apple is trying too hard to cash in on its customersi loyalty, and I doubt most of them are that generous. The company ought to recognize that and offer a choice of .Mac price plans that donit penalize users who just want their old iTools services. And until Apple releases the updates to .Mac that itis already hyping on its Web site, such as Internet-connected screensavers and shared Web calendars, a discount wouldnit hurt, either.

Check out the full article at the Washington Post.