“Intended to supplant the company’s aging .Mac Web service, MobileMe is meant to make Apple a player in the online portal world now dominated by Yahoo, Microsoft and Google. So far it has served only to tarnish Apple’s reputation for producing solid, pain-free, software,” John Markoff blogs for The New York Times.

“Fumbling MobileMe has revealed a previously hidden side of Apple that suggests that a decade of increasingly strong products has left the quirky computer maker with a bit too much hubris. Apple obviously bit off more than the company could chew two weeks ago when it shipped a second-generation iPhone, updated six million existed iPhone customers to a new software version and rebranded its .Mac service all within the space of a 24-hour period,” Markoff reports.

“It was particularly unusual for a Steve Jobs marketing event. In recent years there has increasingly been One Big Thing insuring that consumers aren’t distracted from the message of the moment,” Markoff reports.

“Obviously a better strategy would have been to stage the software and hardware and to have launched MobileMe as ‘beta,’ giving the company air cover to patch the more than 70 bugs it has acknowledged in just two weeks of being hammered on by frustrated Macintosh devotees,” Markoff reports.

“One thing that has been interesting to watch has been Silicon Valley’s reaction to the MobileMe meltdown. There has been no shortage of schadenfreude. At Google, for example, two executives separately noted with some glee that Apple might have considered outsourcing the service to the search-engine provider,” Markoff reports.

Full article here.

Also blogging for The New York Times, David Pogue writes, “It would have been a lot better if MobileMe had worked great from Day One. It would have been better if Apple had been this candid from the beginning.”

Pogue writes, “But at least Apple has finally provided what thousands of people have been aching for: honesty, transparency, and, above all, a sympathetic ear.”

Full article here.