MobileMe service extended again, Apple admits mistakes

In a move you don't often see from a large corporation, Apple has sent an email to all MobileMe subscribers, offering an additional 60 days free of charge for the service. This is in addition to the original trial, plus more free time after the original launch to make up for a day of lost service, and again in addition to the extra time some subscribers got for an excessive charge to their credit card. Yes, that's right: some subscribers get an unprecedented 180 days of free MobileMe service.

'We have already made many improvements to MobileMe, but we still have many more to make,' the email states. 'To recognize our users' patience, we are giving every MobileMe subscriber as of today a free 60 day extension. This is in addition to the one month extension most subscribers have already received. We are working very hard to make MobileMe a great service we can all be proud of. We know that MobileMe's launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.'

The email concludes with a link to this support page, which further explains the service extension. However, what will surprise many people even more than the extension of service is this line: 'We know that MobileMe's launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.' I'd say when trying to turn things around, giving out free service is a good place to start!

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To be honest, as nice as this is for MobileMe subscribers, Apple didn't really have a lot of choice. From what I can tell, the launch was a disaster and since it's already debatable as to whether the service is worth the fee or not, they probably anticipated a lot of people dumping in when the trial is up so instead opt to try to keep them around for a bit longer.
Even more insidious, they're probably banking on people simply getting so used to the service that after half a year they pay for it because it's easier than swapping over to an alternative.

For me, having push e-mail and fully synchronised contacts between the web, my iMac, my work computer and my iPhone is easily worth the money. Throw in the other features such as the ability to publish galleries straight from iPhoto or even my iPhone on the move and it's great.

Apple didn't need to do this. I've had perfect service since they gave the original 30 day extension. In fact, I signed up on July 11th and now have free MobileMe until mid January. Not bad at all.

I have signed up for a trial to mobileme when it first came up to the surface and unfortunately I closed the account 30 days after.

Although sounded very good at video previews, in fact it wasn't so good for my liking. Email viewing & reading was very generic (yahoo's & live's new interface was by far better). Also synchronizing to a windows pc with outlook has a lot of issues (I didn't like the idea installing itunes to be able to sync but i gave it a shot). It has problems with contact groups from outlook and the info of a contact (eg. second business mobile number) stored in outlook sometimes is passing wrongly on mobileme. I don't know about it working with leopard macos but with windows it has issues. Also, I found storage to be small for the amount of money you are paying (you can find exchange hosting at the same value with more or, ever better, unlimited storage).

Microsoft's Exchange 2007 hosted solution with the addition of Sharepoint is way better with a more clever & functional web interface and great pc & mobile synching (available also in latest iphone 2.x firmware).

I know it's still early and most problems will be fixed and new additions will come but at the moment, it doesn't worth my money.

I just wanted to sign up for the "free" trial but I ain't gonna give credit card details for a "free" trial.
Apple must hope people would forget to cancel the trial before the subscription kicks in.

I use different service for do the same, i use gmail web browser and don't need to keep a copy of my contacts/email, for images i can send straight directly pictures from my cellphone to my flickr or blogs and all are free services.

I laugh at simon360's futile attempt to generate positive (to a certain extent) press for Apple in a non-Apple part of Neowin. >.>

In other news, I should sign up for a trial account. The launch is one of the worst in Apple's history though, no question about it.

wctaiwan

MobileMe has been up and working well for a while now. It syncs well with my iPhone and work and home machines. I am finding it really useful and it is a well integrated and designed service. It may have had a few hiccups, but so do many tech launches. It was nice of Apple to give a few 60 days, which covers more than any downtime.

All in all MobileMe does what it is supposed to and works well.

i like the move and actually, thats the apple i know: we did something that didnt work aout that well, now it does but because it didnt before all you firstliners get it for free another 60 days.
man. i love it. =)

ive never actually used it and i dont think i will, no real need for me but thats a nice move, apple!

Well, I got 90 days free total, plus 60 days trial, plus 365 days paid, all for $10 off (Amazon), so it's not too bad. The service was rocky, but now it's pretty good. One thing everyone is forgetting is that you're not paying $100 for email, you're paying $100 a year for push IMAP email, 20GB of online storage, push contacts/calendar to all of your computers (spare Linux), and the Apple "sexiness factor".

^^^ I just had to say I have never seen a more appropriate inclusion of an accidental smiley!

In that case, "Linux" really needed the "x)" pinchy-face!

I really like it. If I could be bothered to finally ditch my @live.com account for email, I would switch to my @me.com account. Maybe some day soon. Wouldn't need to if Hotmail would finally provide POP support >_>

regardless of a persons viewpoint towards apple ( there will always be lovers and haters ), the mess that started MobileMe will and probably already has left a bad taste in peoples mouths. doubtful that MobileMe will be as popular as Apple hoped it would be.

In a move you don't often see from a large corporation, Apple has sent an email to all MobileMe subscribers, offering an additional 60 days free of charge for the service.

Way to try to put a positive spin on a major f up.

I dunno... the fact that I now get half of a year for free instead of the 60 days I originally signed up for makes up for the disaster that was the MobileMe launch, imo. It's more than anyone would expect.

lol at Apple. It's Just junk. Don't wanna try it caz better option is available for free. Windows Live is better choice with Google for a few features.

Windows Live = good integration/fit with windows pcs. mobileme = good integration/fit with os x. Besides that, mobileme also has a push service. And since you have not tried it...how can you so quickly assume it is junk?

Umm... hate to break it to you, but Live doesn't even offer POP email or forwarding, while pretty much everything else provides IMAP or push and forwarding. MobileMe is meant to be, as the name implies, mobile, so simple access to a calendar, email, and contacts is included. Windows Live doesn't even come close. Google, however, does.

(simon360 said @ #2.3)
Umm... hate to break it to you, but Live doesn't even offer POP email or forwarding, while pretty much everything else provides IMAP or push and forwarding. MobileMe is meant to be, as the name implies, mobile, so simple access to a calendar, email, and contacts is included. Windows Live doesn't even come close. Google, however, does.

Windows Live supports contacts/email and soon calendar through a client application Windows Live Mail. The same is also supported on mobile devices through Windows Live Mobile, and supports push technology. The Live Contacts integration with Windows Mobile is quite nice.

I can understand not wanting to use Microsoft's software to access their service. I'm sure they will support IMAP eventually, it is just a matter of time.

That's like saying you can't understand not wanting to use Internet Explorer to browse Microsoft's website. A lot of people have more than one email address, so an email client is a requirement for them, but simply don't like Microsoft's software.

While I understand your point, it would be much more valid if all of the competition didn't offer IMAP, or even POP.

(Fonze said @ #2.4)
Windows Live supports contacts/email and soon calendar through a client application Windows Live Mail. The same is also supported on mobile devices through Windows Live Mobile, and supports push technology. The Live Contacts integration with Windows Mobile is quite nice.

I can understand not wanting to use Microsoft's software to access their service. I'm sure they will support IMAP eventually, it is just a matter of time.

But isn't kind of the point with MobileMe that you can work with the services regardless what client-side apps you use, including the operating system? Windows Live Mail is for example only available on Microsoft Windows, while with these services, it doesn't matter if you use Windows or OS X. It works with Microsoft Outlook as well as Windows Mail or Outlook Express or iCal, and so on. You no longer need a specific app (Windows Live Mail) for a specific platform (Microsoft Windows) to make use of some sort of web integration. This is even more important since not even Windows Vista comes with Windows Live Mail pre-installed, so if you're living a pretty mobile lifestyle, having specific client-side software prerequisites like that is just plain annoying.

(simon360 said @ #2.3)
Umm... hate to break it to you, but Live doesn't even offer POP email or forwarding, while pretty much everything else provides IMAP or push and forwarding. MobileMe is meant to be, as the name implies, mobile, so simple access to a calendar, email, and contacts is included. Windows Live doesn't even come close. Google, however, does.

Windows Live Premium does, just have to pay $29 instead of $99. Plus Windows Live wave 3 is coming all of these features with unbelievable features like DeepZoom, PhotoSynth etc etc etc.

(Jugalator said @ #2.6)

But isn't kind of the point with MobileMe that you can work with the services regardless what client-side apps you use, including the operating system? Windows Live Mail is for example only available on Microsoft Windows, while with these services, it doesn't matter if you use Windows or OS X. It works with Microsoft Outlook as well as Windows Mail or Outlook Express or iCal, and so on. You no longer need a specific app (Windows Live Mail) for a specific platform (Microsoft Windows) to make use of some sort of web integration. This is even more important since not even Windows Vista comes with Windows Live Mail pre-installed, so if you're living a pretty mobile lifestyle, having specific client-side software prerequisites like that is just plain annoying.

Windows Live software is upgrading frequently, I mean u got Windows Vista in the end of 2006 & it is same since today but in the mean tym u got Windows Live Wave 1, Wave 2 & upcoming Wave 3. So if MS per-installed Windows Live Wave 1 with Windows Vista then u must had to upgrade it to wave 2, thats why u just get 'Download Windows Live' link with Windows Vista.

(simon360 said @ #2.3)
Umm... hate to break it to you, but Live doesn't even offer POP email or forwarding, while pretty much everything else provides IMAP or push and forwarding. MobileMe is meant to be, as the name implies, mobile, so simple access to a calendar, email, and contacts is included. Windows Live doesn't even come close. Google, however, does.

Windows Live Premium does, just have to pay $29 instead of $99.

Hmmmm I would have voted for "seems like an excellent service, but won't pay a fee for that"
I'm just 20 years old, I don't have the revenue to pay myself a personal email account... meaning... I have other expenses that are more important.

From Paul's Thurrott's view, MobileMe is just bad, but then again it's Paul Thurrott... but then again I've never seen it live really.

In my opinion, it's a fantastic service. There have been reliability problems, no one will deny that... but when it's up, there's push email, and a series of fantastic web services available. I don't know why Paul Thurrott would say it is terrible, since whether you have a use for it or not, it's one of the best integrated, most functional, and nicest looking web applications around.

However, once my trial is up... I'm not sure if it's worth $99 a year.

(simon360 said @ #1.1)
However, once my trial is up... I'm not sure if it's worth $99 a year.

That's exactly the way I see it. It's $99 for what, push email (free from Yahoo!), some fancy syncing stuff, web apps (again, free elsewhere) and some online storage?

If it was priced at say $40/year, I'd sign up right away, but not at $99.