Saturday, July 26, 2008

AAPL Apologia: MobileMe

Some poor sod at Apple -- name as yet unknown -- has said in a first-person post from Apple's own web site that (a) Steve Jobs instructed him to report to users on the state of MobileMe as the bugs are worked out, and (b) MobileMe has permanently lost some of the email with which paid users had entrusted Apple.

The fact that MobileMe is in such a state that a company-ordered blog on its rectification is necessary comes as a surprise in light of the future held forth ten years ago when Sun Microsystems advertised Webtone, the promise of internet services as cheap and reliable as dial tone.  (Turning a profit out of Java and Solaris -- both now free to use -- has proven a bit harder than making technology work, though, if the relative performance of AAPL vs JAVA shares is any indicator.)

Apple needs to figure out how it's going to serve mail.  May I suggest QMail?  Sadly, I think the problem is deeper than decisions about which mail server software to choose.  I believe Apple has a serious need to understand how its back-end can serve the needs of millions of simultaneous users with desktop and mobile devices that all want to synchronize content while third parties are pushing data to applications running on the iPhone.  I'm honestly surprised Apple can get caught with its pants down like this.

But you get what you see:  Apple, with its pants around its ankles in the enterprise services market.  Is there a better advertisement for competitors like RIMM?

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