Mac Musings

Kiss iTools Good-Bye

Dan Knight - 2002.07.17 - Tip Jar

I guess it was too good to last. Apple is rebranding iTools as .mac and will be eliminating free services effective September 30, 2002.

If you're a typical Mac user, there's a good chance you have a email address. I do. Not only is it free (well, it was), but it lets me promote the Mac with every email I send from that address. And that's really all I use iTools for.

Not for long, though. While Microsoft and a host of others offer free email, Apple is getting out of the business. If I want to keep my email address, Apple will let me pay just US$49.95 the first year - a discount from the regular $100 per year rate.

What do I get for that $100?

  • I get to keep my email address.
  • I can purchase additional email addresses.
  • I get to use HomePage.
  • I get 100 MB of iDisk storage space that I can share with others.
  • I get Virex antivirus software.
  • I get access to members-only support and private discussion boards moderated by Apple techs.

There are plenty of sources of no-cost and low-cost email addresses. They might not promote the Mac, but I'm not willing to pay $100 per year for an email address that does that.

I don't use HomePage or iDisk, so no great loss there. I don't get viruses on my Mac, so Virex really won't provide any benefit to me. And the Low End Mac Email Lists provide gobs of technical support and general Mac information for free.

As far as I'm concerned, the value of .Mac services fall way short of $100 per year. I'll stop using my address on outgoing mail this week and hope to be able to stop checking for incoming mail by the end of the month.

If you don't need HomePage and/or iDisk, I suggest you consider doing the same.

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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