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Apple Claims .Mac Subscriptions Top 100,000

iTools service ends in two weeks By Dave Nagel
Apple says .Mac subscriptions now top 100,000 users. The report comes a day after Business 2.0 published an article online criticizing Apple for confusing customers with a new paid service that replaces a previously free service at a time when users are in the process of transitioning to Mac OS X and spending money on software updates to go along with it. At the same time, some of the services offered in the .Mac package are available free from third parties, such as e-mail accounts, or included free from ISPs, such as Internet storage.

Writer Eric Hellweg of Business 2.0, in an article called "Apple's Scary Season," wrote, "... Apple's timing seems off. Just as its overall market share is hitting new lows--2.6 percent, by Giga Information Group's most recent count--it is forcing an upgrade to OS X even though one of the most popular software programs for Mac [QuarkXPress] isn't yet available for that operating system. And its vital relationship with Microsoft has hit a snag. Apple faces a challenging chapter in its corporate history." The entire article can be found at,,43637,FF.html?ref=ss_AAPL_43637.

The .Mac service was announced by Apple in July as a replacement to the currently free iTools service. It includes an e-mail account with 15 MB of storage; iDisk, which includes 100 MB of storage; HomePage, a Web site creation tool; Backup, an archiving feature for iDisk; and virus detection and repair services. t also allows users to publish calendars using Apple's new iCal software and photo albums using Apple's iPhoto software.

The current iTools service will end Sept. 30, and users who have e-mail addresses through iTools will have to upgrade to the new service in order to keep those addresses. The new service is available for $49.95 for the first year for those who had an iTools account prior to July 16 and sign up for .Mac before Sept. 30. The normal price is $99.95 per year. Those who purchase new Macintosh systems will be able to sign up for a free 60-day trial period. The .Mac service requires Mac OS X 10.1.3.

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Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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