Apple Admits MobileMe Mess... To Itself
The MobileMe meltdown seems to have led to some heads rolling at Apple: Last night, Ars Technica reported that the company is reorganizing the MobileMe effort. The (generally reliable) tech-news site's report quotes an e-mail from Steve Jobs, in which he calls the service "not up to Apple's standards" and "a mistake" to have been launched at the same time as the iPhone 3G along with the software upgrades that went with that. To fix it, Jobs is placing Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president for iTunes, in charge of MobileMe as well.
I can't argue with Jobs's verdict and I suspect you can't either. I've been feeling that even my thumbs-down verdict was too generous: The silly little errors that I'd seen vanish at least briefly from the me.com Web site -- like how some contacts randomly appear online stripped of all info but name and employer -- seem to have returned. And many of you have clearly had much worse luck with MobileMe than I have.
What's just as dismaying is getting so little info out of Apple about all this. Its "MobileMe Status" reports are vague to the point of uselessness, and its earlier apology seems inadequate to cover all the things that have gone wrong since then. Getting this latest news essentially by accident doesn't help matters.
(Apple's habit of what you could call "selective disclosure" will be part of Thursday's column, in which I will look at how some tech companies have used the Web to communicate with their customers.)
The Ars Technica story quotes Jobs's e-mail as concluding that "we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year." But how many MobileMe users will want to stick around to see if the company can live up to this pledge? Let's talk about that this morning, before our scheduled blog outage kicks in at noon.
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