If recent reports are anything to go by, .Mac is in trouble.
Stories of outages and breakages do nothing to improve the already fairly poor reputation of Apple’s online services package. And everyone who has invested money in a .Mac account, and perhaps in third-party apps that take advantage of it, ends up frustrated and locked in to a single machine, since they can’t sync stuff between different Macs as they expected.
Steve Jobs might announce all sorts of things at WWDC next week, and to be honest I don’t expect .Mac to feature among them. But Apple really needs to address .Mac soon (and not just by introducing a whole bunch of .Mac-only new features in iApps and Leopard).
The service needs to be re-thought and re-vamped completely. There’s nothing like it in the Windows world, and .Mac is a superb idea, a wonderful feature to attract new users to Macs; it’s just the the reality of using it offers little other than frustration, disappointment, and bemusement that other online services offer so much more (often for a lot less money).
Even if .Mac gets zero attention next week, I’m hoping that something drastic is done to it before the end of the year. Even if that means simply putting it out of its misery.