iTools users have doubled from 1.0 to 2.4 million users in last year but Apple’s Internet services are evolving, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in his keynote today at Macworld Conference & Expo in New York.
Many formerly free services such as Yahoo!, msnHotmail, and i-drive are pay services or, in the case of the latter, out of business. Apple has to change to reflect this changing environment, Jobs said.
As for Sept,. 30, iTools as we know it is going away and will be replaced by .Mac. (The name is “inspired” by Microsoft’s .NET, which Jobs took a dig at during his keynote.).
.Mac, a new suite of Internet services and software that provides Mac users with powerful tools for their life on the Internet. .Mac features email service with IMAP, POP or web-based access; 100MB of Internet storage seamlessly integrated with the Mac OS X Finder; and always-on hosting for personalized home pages and digital photo albums that can be shared with anyone on the Internet.
“.Mac does what others have tried and failed to do-make Internet Services a seamless extension of your computer,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It has never been easier to store, publish, share or communicate on the Internet.”
.Mac, which launches today, introduces the ability to share calendars from Apple’s new iCal software (see separate story) with colleagues, friends and family members. To protect users’ personal information, .Mac includes McAfee’s Virex antivirus software with online updating, and Backup, Apple’s solution for backing up important data to CDs, DVDs and even automatically to Apple’s iDisk Internet servers. The.Mac tools include: Mac.com email, an e-mail service that includes 15 MB of IMAP/POP mail storage, secure access to mail, virus protection and a brand new Web-based interface; iDisk, 100 MB (up from 25 MB in the iTools service) of Internet storage that’s built into the Mac OS X Finder and also accessible from Windows or Linux machines; HomePage, Apple’s Web site creation tool.
.Mac is available immediately as a subscription-based service for US $99.95 per year. Existing iTools accounts will be transitioned to .Mac accounts during a free trial period ending Sept. 30, 2002. iTools members as of midnight, July 16, who sign up for .Mac before Sept. 30, will receive a special introductory offer of $49.95 for the first year. New Macs can sign up for a free, 60-day
.Mac trial online. .Mac will be available through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers.
.Mac requires Mac OS X v10.1.3 or later; 128 MB SDRAM; internal CD-RW or DVD-R drive (to create CD or DVD backups); Netscape 4.7 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later. iCal requires Mac OS X v10.2. The Virex anti-virus software, Mac.com email, iDisk, HomePage and iCards features of .Mac can also be accessed using Mac OS 9.