New .Mac stuff

Well Apple updated their .Mac service this week. They upped storage capacity to 1 GB, which is definitely a nice change. Of course, at last count I have something close to 20 Gigs of personal data on my work PowerBook that I would love to stick on my iDisk but I’m not holding my breath for that much storage. A new feature was added, called Groups. Basically, a mailing list and “group” web site. A very cool idea with one major flaw. You must have a .Mac account to use it. You can sign up for the free 60 day .Mac trial and even after the 60 days are up you can still use that account for iChat and any groups you are in, but it is a bit confusing I think. I think many people will have a hard time realizing they can set their .Mac account to use their regular email address and they will be turned off. Apple has a similar system for non .Mac users for their support services called an Apple ID. .Mac users can use their .Mac ID as their Apple ID, but you cannot use your Apple ID as a .Mac ID. Signing up for an Apple ID is as simple as giving your name and email. A .Mac account requests much more information. People do not want to give so much information for a simple account. It’s too bad. I can think of several good uses for the groups feature, but I know the people I would want to join would be turned off by the registration process.