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Apple’s MobileMe: head in the clouds?

And feet on the ground… RUNNING! :-)

I saw THIS article on CNET tonight that cited a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Apple could turn the MobileMe service into a film and music hub (and that Apple could launch a smaller, more affordable iPhone by this summer). The new MobileMe service, which now costs $99/year, could be FREE! (If you’re really thinking about this, Apple, THANKS, in advance!)

According to WSJ, Steve Jobs declined comment by email, and an Apple spokesperson also declined comment. (You were expecting something different? 😉 )

I lived in Apple’s Internet Services area for a year as a Netscape employee, working closely with Apple employees on the email services involved with (which earlier was iTools and which became .Mac which became MobileMe). I consider that year to be the very best year of the “high-tech” portion of my “career.” I know some of the people who are still there and some of the people who joined the area after I left. I had conversations, in 2000 and 2001, with the VP who still runs that unit. I can only imagine some of the newer folks who may have been recruited. When you have that collection of talent, you have the technical and marketing abilities to do pretty much anything that is physically possible, :-) so the questions become, “What shall we do, and when?”

WSJ states that the new MobileMe file-storage and music service could be available as early as June, depending on the progress of licensing discussions. Their source said that Apple had planned to roll out the service a year earlier. :-)

(The unimaginative and that darn “status quo” always slow things down. :-) Here’s to “The Crazy Ones!” We’re all mad here.)

The new MobileMe would give users the ability to access their iTunes libraries from, for example, an iPhone or iPad, instead of syncing with a computer and using space to store files. The new service would be compatible with the iPhone 4, according to an anonymous source. (Hey, you have to keep people upgrading! :-) )

Those of you with imagination can no doubt think of MANY other possibilities and products/services with the current status of Apple’s Internet ecosystem. I can almost assure you that the good folks in Internet Services already HAVE! 😉

As someone who is reasonably open (hey, I blog… sometimes editorially 😉 ), and yet who is concerned with the “3rd Party Doctrine” of the Fourth Amendment (there is even a premature obituary), I can envision that the content which MobileMe might store in “the Cloud” (actually, almost certainly in a server farm under Apple’s control :-) ) would enhance the quality of my life while allowing me to decide (at least a little bit) how much information to share, a GOOD thing.

Meanwhile, of course, the current, fashionable swing to “the Cloud” is just the latest cycle of the Yin and Yang of Information Systems departments and customers with devices (not necessarily in that order) chasing each other for control of their information and computing environment.

I don’t see an end to those cycles, and I am glad of that.

-Bill at

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