.Mac Prediction for WWDC07
Update May 31, 2007: “Walt: .Mac… you guys didn’t really develop it. Steve: I couldn’t agree more, and we’ll make up for lost time in the near future.”
It’s hard to believe that WWDC07 is just a month away. Although I won’t be making any purchases, I still can’t wait for June 11 to hear the Leopard announcements, and hopefully see some new hardware, at the Keynote.
Here’s my one prediction for WWDC07: .Mac is going to begin to be phased out with the introduction of Leopard.
-Sync will be revealed as one of the new “secret” features in Leopard.
-Yahoo Mail is already going to be used for the iPhone. Why not pass @mac.com email accounts on to be managed by Yahoo as well and get the benefits of Yahoo’s impressive new AJAX interface with unlimited storage and IMAP? There is some precedence for this kind of solution already in the way AIM and .Mac are integrated in iChat.
Even if I’m wrong about these last two and .Mac email and iDisk are not integrated into Yahoo and/or Google’s superior services they will not exist quite as we know them today once Leopard is out. Perhaps they will be kept on by Apple for free or a reduced price for a while longer. $49 annually? Still not worth it given the higher quality service offered free by their competition, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Apple did this.
As to Backup and Sync, Time Machine is a known, not a prediction, and Sync, well, it just makes so much sense for this to be a feature of Leopard I will be surprised if it is not announced in June.
Finally, .Mac is seen only four times in the Leopard Sneak Peek:
1) In iChat, “iChat works directly with AIM, the largest instant messaging community in the U.S. You and your buddies can be either AIM or .Mac users.”
2) In a screenshot in Mail (but perhaps brought to you by Yahoo under the hood?).
3) In Dashboard, “Get yourself a .Mac account and your Dashboard preferences can follow you from Mac to Mac. With Dashboard syncing in Leopard, when you make a change to your Dashboard preferences, Leopard automatically keeps everything in sync across every Mac you use.”
4) In Accessibility, “Got a .Mac account? Come Leopard, all your VoiceOver preferences can follow you from Mac to Mac.”
Wouldn’t 3) and 4) indicate that .Mac Syncing will not be moved directly into Leopard? Not at all. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of each of these pages, “All features referenced in the Mac OS X Leopard Sneak Peek are subject to change.” I think the .Mac part of 3) and 4) is going to get dropped. In fact, I think what 3) and 4) really point to is that syncing Macs will be a standard feature of Leopard.
One could argue that there is so much more said about .Mac in Tiger because there is a lot more information about Tiger in general on Apple’s website. However, the fact that .Mac is absent from most of the Leopard Sneak Peek indicates to me that Apple is purposely downplaying .Mac. After all, Apple could easily have made reference to .Mac in Time Machine, “Backup your important files to iDisk”; Mail, “Seamless integration with .Mac”; and iCal, “Share your calendars via .Mac.”
Of course, we are unlikely to hear anything like, “We are phasing out .Mac,” from Steve Jobs himself. Rather, it will just be subsumed into these other services.Apple