Why Apple’s new .Mac webmail is important

“Earlier this week Apple announced that a new version of webmail for Mac users is ‘coming soon.’ There was a bit of chatter about this around the blogosphere, with most people concluding that this fresh coat of paint on the inferior .mac product is a bit of a yawn,” Michael Arrington writes for Techcrunch.

“I agree that .mac is Apple’s most difficult to use product and needs a lot of work. However, I think that the changes are important for one reason: There are very few Ajax webmail services today that allow users to access multiple email accounts. .Mac will be one of them,” Arrington writes. “I believe webmail is the single most important application to show off the power of Ajax. The reason is that we spend an incredible amount of time on email every day – at least 3-4 hours per day for me. When we spend that much time doing something, even small increases in productivity make a large aggregate positive difference.”

“.Mac webmail will now have both multiple account access and rich Ajax features. Only Yahoo currently offers that. And since .Mac syncs with a desktop client (Yahoo doesn’t of course), it is a completely end-to-end solution. Until now, you had to be using exchange server and Outlook to have anything close to that,” Arrington writes. “This is an important move by Apple that gives its platform a new advantage over Windows Machines and any of the webmail services out there, including Gmail and Yahoo. I look forward to its launch.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple teases new .Mac webmail coming soon with drag-and-drop, built-in Address Book, and more – September 27, 2006

27 Comments

  1. JS– I just have all three of my Macs check for messages frequently. Only one is set to delete emails off of the server after a month or so. Wouldn’t this accomplish what you need?

  2. I may have to make the .Mac leap and try it out. I could have fun with some nonsense web pages. I need to post a Photoshop image of a Zune headstone marking a coffin filled with PlayedForSure partners (accessories not included).

  3. Yes but the real question is: if I already have Mail, why on earth should I care about doing it all in Safari? .Mac’s old webmail was fine for me… I never used it anyway so who cares.

    I’ll probably renew my subscription, but it assuages my guilt for being so liberal with my OS X install discs… but .Mac is lame.

  4. I love it when people write ‘intellectual’ just to revel in their own verbiage. “…small increases in productivity make a large aggregate positive difference”. Gimme a break. So, it’ll work better and we’ll get more things done quicker.

    Gee, I couldn’t have concluded that on my own.

    “Thanks, Sergeant Carter . . . I plum sure didn’t understand a thing he was sayin’.”

  5. I think that the timing has a lot to do with renewals. I started with .mac at the very beginning (back when it was called something else and it was free) and my renewal is in October. I have a feeling that they have a large volume of renewals in October and by giving a sneek peek they hope to have more people to renew.

  6. It’s also displaying Apple’s ability to make thier incredible iLife suite web-based! A couple more apps like this that integrate and function as smoothly as OS X native apps and Google really has something to fear!!

  7. For me to be really excited about .Mac, they need more than feature parity on their webmail. They need some kind of community chat and decent web hosting. And more storage.

    MDN word: member. As in, .Mac please excite my member….

  8. Unlikely, but I’m gonna toss it out there. Any chance that the recent addition of Eric Schmidt could have anything to do with this? Could it be based off of gmail to any extent? Are we seeing the beginnings of cross co-operation? Probably not.

  9. To JS in DC,

    Off course the messages are synced. .Mac is an IMAP account which is server based. All work you do is on the server. So no matter what you are using: .Mac, Mac #1 desktop, Mac #2 desktop. All messages will be the same.

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