columnist Rob Pegoraro doesn’t think Apple’s revamped .Mac services are worth $100. His comments come in a new Fast Forward column entitled
A New Desktop That Makes Dollars Disappear.
Noting that .Mac enhances Apple’s original iTools offerings with some new features and functionality, Pegoraro said, “it doesn’t add up to $100 worth of value.” A problem, he added, for existing iTools users, who will otherwise lose their Web pages, online storage and access to their Mac.com e-mail account come Sep. 30 unless they pony up $49.95, the cost of Apple’s introductory offer for existing iTools users.
iDisk storage capacity is dramatically boosted, noted Pegoraro, and Homepage is easy enough to use — as long as you stick to Apple’s boilerplates. Pegoraro said that the new service’s e-mail accounts get three times as much storage capacity along with virus checking, but lack any filtering capability or desktop address book synchronization — at least until iSync is released.
Backup will let you archive what’s important, he said, although it lacks support for Zip disks and external drives. It also requires an online connection to work, said Pegoraro. He also slammed Virex, Apple’s choice of virus protection software for .Mac buyers, as “not that good,” complaining about a lack of auto-updating capability and vague warnings about possible virus infections.
Pegoraro doubts that most iTools users are generous enough to allow Apple to cash in on their loyalty through iTools to .Mac switchovers, and he suggested that Apple consider a price plan that recognizes iTools users who don’t want added frills — just what they already have. “And until Apple releases the updates to .Mac that it’s already hyping on its Web site, such as Internet-connected screensavers and shared Web calendars, a discount wouldn’t hurt, either,” he concluded.