High on iCloud, Apple slates MobileMe's demise

Angry fans of oft-mocked service say they've been cheated, abandoned as Apple names June 2012 shutoff

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"For anybody whose [renewal] date was in the last couple of months before June 6, we got swindled by Apple," argued someone identified as "ahaynes4" on Monday.

Others complained that they would have to buy a new Mac to use iCloud.

MobileMe message
This message now greets users wanting to try out Apple's MobileMe sync and storage service.

"I am still quite satisfied with my PowerPC machines, and I cannot afford to buy a new machine just because you are linking your new services to new technologies," said "bowlerboy" on a different thread. "You should not be pulling the plug on 'older' stuff that still does the job on older (but not obsolete!) Macs. It is rude and short-sighted."

As that user noted, some customers will be hit harder than others by the loss of MobileMe.

Users with Macs powered by PowerPC processors -- those used in Macs built before Apple switched to Intel's architecture in 2006 -- are out of luck, since like Snow Leopard, Lion requires an Intel-based system.

And even Intel-powered Macs running Mac OS X 10.5, or Leopard, may not have an easy upgrade path to Lion: Apple has not said whether it will repeat its 2009 move and sell a software bundle that lets customers skip an OS. Then, Apple offered users running Mac OS X 10.5, or Tiger, a $129 collection dubbed "Boxed Set" that included not only a Snow Leopard upgrade but also new versions of the iLife creativity suite.

Assuming those users' Macs meet the hardware requirements for Lion -- a dual- or quad-core Intel processor -- they could get iCloud by first upgrading to Snow Leopard for $29, then again to Lion for $29.99.

What's clear is that things are unclear, several users concluded. But many were optimistic that Apple would sort it all out.

"I'm really hoping that in addition to the bare bones free service announced today, there'll be optional add-ons available for a fee coming later," said Dave Clifford on the forum. "There must be thousands of people who use iWeb, iDisk, and Gallery and who wouldn't mind continuing to pay to keep them on."

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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