Apple moving from .Mac to Me? Adobe too?
I don’t know how many of us here at TMV are Apple aficionados (here’s the latest iPhone rumor) but for those who are (and to those who aren’t, Apple is the tech news story of the early 21st century so you may want to read on) there’s a rumor going ’round that the overpriced under-performing .Mac service that people like me pay a $100 for year after year thinking maybe one day it will amount to something — it now includes e-mail, online hosting, backup, photo sharing, and clunky tools to synchronize calendars and address books — is about to undergo a change:
Saturday, John Gruber at Daring Fireball found that “Me.Com” appears to be owned by Apple. “Me” has been on Apple’s mind since 2005, when it registered “Mobile Me” as a trademark for “telecommunication services for the dissemination of information by mobile telephone, namely the transmission of data to mobile telephones” along with “music players,” “digital video players,” “MP3 players,” and “software related thereto,” according to Ars Technica. [...]
Now is certainly a great time to expand and rename .Mac. Much of the energy in software development is around online applications, which would be a logical evolution for Apple’s iLife and iWork software. Moreover, the iPhone and iPod Touch are particularly suited to services that blend small local applications with storage and other processing handled on an Internet server. But the .Mac brand needs a change. If you chat on your iPhone, jog with your iPod Shuffle but still grind out your spreadsheets on a PC, you might find using an online service called “.Mac” a bit jarring. [...]
The introduction of the successor to .Mac may offer a window into how Mr. Jobs sees advertising and the future of Apple. If the service, or a large part of it, is free with advertising, this may be the beginning of a shift that could build a significant new revenue source for the company (and possibly lead to a shift in the structure of the music business).
This rumor isn’t entirely out of the blue. Back in January at MacWorld Expo Merlin Mann of 43 Folders fame riffed on the future of .Mac in much the same way. In an interview with The Unoffical Apple Weblog he suggested that .Mac could pull all the strands of our digital lives together in a sleek, gleaming, synchronized Apple world. Could it be “Me?”
On the Adobe front, today they launched a free online office suite:
…available at Acrobat.com, complete with word processor (Buzzword), web conferencing/whiteboard app (ConnectNow), online file sharing (Share), file storage, (My Files), and PDF converter. To complement this launch, Adobe has also announced a brand-new version of Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat 9, the biggest release since the initial one that introduced Acrobat to the world. The remarkable change in this new version is that Adobe is now incorporating Flash into the PDF experience.
What ties these stories together is Robert X. Cringley’s belief that Apple is out to buy Adobe. He says Steve Jobs wants to rule the world of web video, own it completely, by buying Adobe’s Flash and merging it with Apple’s Quicktime, “[that] would give Apple near-total dominance of Internet video, furthering the advantages of iTunes and shoring up in the process the iPod franchise.”
And it sure would be cool if it all synched wirelessly and for free through my ad supported .Me account!