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Hot off the Press - An Editorial
Keith Benicek 7/17/02

Apple Pulls the Plug on iTools
Santa Clara, California. -

If you haven't checked your mac.com free email account lately, you should because you're in for a bit of a surprise! Apple Computer Inc. sent out a terse little email today (7/17/02) telling every user of an iTool account that your Free Ride is over.

Under the subject line of "Information About Your iTools Membership", the The .Mac team" at Apple wrote: " Dear iTools member,"

"Today we announced .Mac, pronounced "Dot Mac," that replaces the Apple iTools service. In the two and a half years since we introduced iTools, both the demand for Internet services and the cost of providing them has increased dramatically. As a result, we're no longer able to offer iTools for free. Instead, we are introducing a new paid membership program that will allow us to continually enhance and expand our Internet services offerings for our customers."

"Experience the Full Power of .Mac"

"In addition to delivering dramatically enhanced versions of popular services like Mac.com Email, HomePage, and iDisk, .Mac includes all-new features like industry-leading virus protection, hassle-free data backup software, and more. And, as a member, you'll also get updates whenever new features are added. In fact, there are several great new services coming with the release of Mac OS X v10.2. So your .Mac membership grows with you over time."

"For the next two months, we invite you to explore what .Mac has to offer. Your iTools account will remain active until September 30th, and will also act as your .Mac trial account where you can try out the new service. As a thank-you for pioneering the growth of these services with us, you'll receive a special rate of $49.95 for your first year's

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.Mac membership a full $50 off the standard rate of $99.95."

"If you choose not to join .Mac, your iTools account will be turned off on September 30th. Join before then to keep your account active and receive your special $49.95 rate. And keep an eye on your mailbox. We'll be sending reminders and tips for getting started with .Mac."

"Sincerely,
The .Mac Team
Apple Computer"

Well, I don't know about you, but I feel really betrayed. I think Apple is making a really big mistake with their customers, after they've paid a premium price for an Apple computer, and I think they're showing a real lack of class. This smells to me of "bait and switch" and profits before promisses.

Is Apple getting greedy? Has the prospects of perhaps being the only comsumer computer company that is actually making money gone to their heads? Yeah, I think so!

There is no mention what-so-ever about what happens to your free @mac.com email accounts if you don't want a "Home Page or iHard Drive. This reminds me all to well of Altavista years ago promissing you "free email for life" at the now pay as you go altavista.net, altavista.com, .iname.com, etc. etc.

At $49.95 or the full $99.95, this deal is hardly worth it considering the plethora of hosting companies offering anything from 250MB to 1GB of storage and 100 to 250 POP Mail accounts for $99 per year!

We began on this iTools service, while cutting our teeth, but you can be sure that we'll be expiditing our move to an independent hosting service since we already own our domain address of www.techedgeezine.com.




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