Saturday, February 18, 2006

To Buy Or Not To Buy: Apple's .Mac Service - Definitely NOT

Everyone knows how I swear by my Apple Computers for more than 20 years. I absolutely love the Macintosh platform. It has always been far superior to Windows and just keeps getting better. The difference is just night and day, and when you compare Mac hardware to HP or Dell, it is like comparing a Mercedes Benz to a Toyota or Yugo. Apple's OS is a work of art, and its applications, even the free included ones, are a thing of beauty, and work together better than any symphony. I also LOVE the iPods.

BUT, there is one Apple service that I must say is a DEFINITELY NOT to buy - the so-called "dotmac/ dot mac / .Mac" service which they try to sell you for $99 per year (and more for a family pack).

Almost EVERYTHING that it includes you can get for free or MUCH cheaper online. Take this from a MacUser and Apple bigot - you would be wasting your money on .Mac and you are better off using free email (with tonnes more space) from Yahoo or Gmail or even that pathetic hotmail.

You can get web hosting with many other places for far cheaper - if you do not already have it with your own DSL or ISP. Photo hosting online free is so plentiful I cannot decide where to put my photos up. (I have my own web site with 10000GB of space but if I did not, I would use Picasa, Shutterfly, Flickr).

Your own blog is so easy to do FREE with Blogger, or MySpace, or almost every web service provider who wants to be taken seriously. If you want to Synch your Addressbook with different computers (one of the supposed values of .Mac) there are MANY ways to do it - FREE. Even Plaxo (plaxo.com) now has a free Mac client - which actually enables synching your Mac AND your PC AddressBook, Tasks, To Dos, etc.

So, the $300 for 3 years of .Mac you would spend, is money better spent buying a new iPod for someone in the family. Buy Apple (use one of the links below!), but don't waste your money on .Mac.

4 comments:

Smittie said...

Ah the bottom line argument. And from a Mac user too. That surprises me.

I pay $99 a year just so I can have the cool @mac.com address. Way more cool that @yahoo.com or @aol.com. Definitely more cool that @hotmail.com.

I have a web host and as such, I don't use the web features of .mac. However, .mac is so well integrated into the Mac OS X experience, especially now with iWeb that even my Dad can use it with little or no instruction from me. Now, THAT is way cool.

Yes, you can get all the features that .mac offers for less elsewhere. However, they will not be as easy to use nor will it be as easy to make things look so cool.

.mac isn't for everyone but the cost should not be the deciding factor. After all, if we bought computers based solely on their cost, we wouldn't be using Macs. Some generic box running linux would be way cheaper.

How about it, Imran? Wanna trade in your Mac's for linux?

aloha

Imran Anwar said...

Good points, Smittie. But, an imran.com address is even cooler than a mac.com one :-) , check out pricing on smittie.com or something. :-) Much cheaper than mac.com :-)

Also, yes, Mac .Mac integration is cool - but the point is it's not worth the price. Plaxo for Mac is now well integrated into the Mac AddressBook (free) and allows PC synching also. Flickr etc. have free plugins that work right inside iPhoto. And so on.

Also, long term, giving that same money to Apple for a Mac Mini or for an iPod actually helps Apple show more market share and get higher visibility with software developers. Developers could not care less if .mac had 10 million users, they would care a lot more if 10 millions more iPods are sold or Mac minis.

.Mac is just not worth the money.

Imran

Anonymous said...

as a .mac user, (and itools when it was free) i can partially agree with you on price. i usually search around the web for discounted .mac boxes, anywhere between $60-75 and use the code in the box to upgrade my account every year.

while you may be able to get these services free on alternate sites, its just just easier to use .mac and have them all integrated on one site without having to install non mac hacks/addons to get other services to work.

and now with iweb, its even a better value IMO, but then you have to buy this years ilife, or a new mac with it included.

its also convenient to have your mac back itself up automatically everynite or week, etc..

apple has even upped its total included space to 1GB for everything, you can manipulate how much for what,

it would be just as easy to use my macs built in web software to host my own website (i have 3 diff domains already) but one unfortunate thing for me at least os my cable providor blocks port 80, and its against there terms of sevice to run any kind of server.

so all that being said, i think .Mac is worth it, especially if you can find it discounted.

Imran Anwar said...

Your points are valid in that they are validating what I am saying - it is worth it at a discounted price. Yes, a complete newbie on the Mac can benefit from the integration with .mac so they can focus on learning to exploit Mac OSX before having to worry about other web sites/services. BUT, Apple's 1GB claim is FALSE ADVERTISING. They give you 0.5 GB ONLY, the rest is space for your incoming emails.... who ever had an InBox of 0.5 GB? They KNOW people check email regularly so that 512MB is basically false advertising by Apple.

Imran