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Apple Continues to Struggle With MobileMe

Hey, have you heard the latest?

Q: "Have you tried Apple’s new MobileMe service? It’s "Exchange for the rest of us!"

A: "Wow, you’re right, it’s just like Exchange! I’m missing email and can’t connect half the time!"

Such is the row being hoed by Apple’s new MobileMe service, which, after a very shaky launch, continues to have problems rolling out MobileMe’s touted services to customers. Two weeks ago Apple annouced a free 30-day extension on MobileMe subscriptions to make up for the hassle, but some MobileMe users are continuing to face significant problems. Apple admitted last Friday that a mail outage impacted about one percent of MobileMe subscribers, and that about 10 percent of mail sent to those users between July 16 and July 18 may have been lost. What’s been recovered has been delivered to users…timestamped July 23.

Apple says it has turned on Web-based mail access for the "remaining one percent" and that response has been "cautiously positive." Meanwhile, MobileMe users continue to report problems subsribing to calendars, synchronizing information, and even failures attempting to sign up for the service. Other users report contacts and calendar information simply vanishing from their computers and iPhones.

In a very unusual move for the Cupertino company, Apple has posted a page with status updates on the MobileMe service promising to update users on its efforts to get MobileMe up and running for all users. In the status reports, Apple admits to fixing more than 70 bugs with MobileMe and admits "it’s been a rocky road" since MobileMe’s launch.

Of course, in some senses, Apple doesn’t really have anything to worry about. People have been paying mammoth amounts of money to use Exchange for years. The main difference is that they’ve learned to just shrug if email, calendar, and contact information goes missing or gets weird.