.Mac to shut down Wednesday in advance of MobileMe launch

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The curtain is about to fall on .Mac, Apple’s collection of Web-based services, as the company prepares to make the final switch to its rebranded MobileMe offering. .Mac will go dark on Wednesday evening, as Apple makes its final preparations to launch MobileMe.

According to a .Mac support page, the .Mac service will be taken offline at 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, July 9.

“Members will be unable to access www.mac.com or any .Mac services during this time with the exception of .Mac Mail accessed via a desktop application, iPhone, or iPod touch,” the support page warns.

Apple adds that the new MobileMe service will become available “as soon as possible during this maintenance window.” According to the support page, the maintenance window should end by midnight Pacific Time. (The press release announcing MobileMe says that the service will be available July 11.)

Announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, MobileMe retains many .Mac features, such as contacts and mail, with a new emphasis on push services that keep information synced between your computer, iPhone, and Me.com Web page. Apple has posted a video guide to its updated online offerings.

The Wednesday shutdown of .Mac is the latest step in the transition to the MobileMe launch. Over the weekend, .Mac subscribers had to sync their bookmarks with their Mac, as .Mac’s bookmark syncing capabilities is one of the features that won’t be a part of the MobileMe offerings.

Updated at 9:28 a.m. PT to add details about the 6 p.m. to midnight PT maintenance window mentioned on the Apple support page.

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