Back in the beginning of June at WWDC, Apple announced that they would be replacing their .Mac service with a new service called MobileMe. They described it as “Exchange for the rest of us” and said users would have push email, contacts and calendars. It sounded impressive, but would cost users a subscription fee of $99 for 20 GB of online storage. For someone who really wanted push email, contacts and calendars, the $99 would be worth it. As it turns out, Apple is guilty of what we would call “false advertising” because MobileMe really doesn’t use Push technology. Apparently there have been enough complaints because they have instructed their sales teams to no longer use the slogan, “Exchange for the rest of us.”
Paul Thurrott wrote an extremely informative article over at his SuperSite for Windows website where he talks about a note that the Apple employees received. It read, “MobileMe messaging is being updated effective immediately. In order to set appropriate expectations with our customers, focus your sales discussion on “automatic sync” rather than “push.” Additionally, we will no longer describe MobileMe as “Exchange for the rest of us.” Exchange really does use push technology, MobileMe does not.
Thurrott also pointed out some of the other issues with MobileMe. He points out that an estimated 75% of Windows users still use Internet Explorer yet in IE 7 they’ll get a message saying that the browser isn’t fully supported and they should either switch to Firefox or Safari. Fine, if Apple wants to be that way they can, but then don’t you think Firefox should be a supported browser if you want to sync your bookmarks in MobileMe? It’s not. At that point your only options are Safari or Internet Explorer. None of it makes sense.
Given that a good chunk of iPhone users are Windows users, MobileMe will be a real problem for them, especially when they find out it’s not “Exchange for the rest of us” and they’ll have to wait about 15 minutes for that update they made on their PC to sync. If it were really “push,” it would update instantly.
It’s interesting to note that not many people have made a big fuss over this, at least not yet. If Microsoft pulled a stunt like this, their critics would be ALL over them. What Apple did by promoting MobileMe as “Exchange for the rest of us” and saying it supports Windows when it doesn’t fully, was not smart, and it’s disappointing. Thurrott wrapped up his article saying “Seriously, where is the outrage” and we second that, where is it?