MobileMe: Apple’s Microsoft Killer

“As widely predicted, Steve Jobs this week introduced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference the iPhone… But, you know what was the REAL big news in Jobs’ keynote? Not his apparent poor health, which I have to admit concerns plenty of people, and for good reason. No, the big news was MobileMe, Apple’s Microsoft Killer,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.com.

“Microsoft’s success is based on two products and only two products — Windows and Office. Microsoft is obsessed with the idea that Google will undermine one or both of those monopolies through Google Apps. This is all Steve Ballmer thinks about and is what made him so eager to spend $40+ billion for Yahoo,” Cringely writes. “But what if the real threat isn’t Google at all, but Apple?”

“Nearly everyone who tries it is going to LOVE MobileMe, which Apple — calling it “Microsoft Exchange for the rest of us” — will madly market to small and medium-sized businesses, of which there are six million in the U.S. alone. Those outfits will buy iPhones, MobileMe accounts, and eventually Macs and MacBooks for their workers. IPhone enterprise customers will do the same. Organizations that find Google Apps too hard to use (have you actually tried to build a wiki using Google Sites? I have and it is HARD – far worse than using JotSpot, from which Sites supposedly evolved) or aren’t big enough for Exchange will buy MobileMe instead and never look back” Cringely writes. “And that’s just in the U.S. What about those other 69 countries that will have iPhone service by the end of the year and the 62 that will allow Apple’s App Store?”

“Steve Jobs is brilliant and patient. He has a plan and is executing on it to perfection. Bill Gates couldn’t pick a better time to retire and let someone else take the fall,” Cringely writes.

Much more in the full article here.

44 Comments

  1. Mobile me is good, but not for business. It’s more of a consumer thing.

    The business will come with Snow Leopard Server. That is what brings all the aspects of Mobileme to a company.

  2. MobileMe will be a real killer platform when you can use it with your own domain name. Using a .me email address doesn’t really cut it professionally. All the ingredients are there already just the domain name would be icing on the cake.

  3. I don’t think MobileMe will break into the enterprise arena. It will be great for consumers, but corporations like to control their own services. Maybe if Apple were to integrate the service into OS X server, allowing corporations to run their own secure version of MobileMe, then maybe I could see it competing with Exchange.

  4. That was exactly the point of Cringely’s article (it must be huge, when Microsoft trolls fawn over Apple’s products; first Thurrot, now Cringely; what’s next? Dvorak!!!???). MobileMe is just perfect for small businesses. iPhone will be rammed into the enterprise, first by the C-level executives, then by other management staff who demand mobile performance. Once support has been established in the corporate IT, deployment is no longer resisted and all those Blackberries will be abandoned as soon as contracts expire.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if two years from now iPhone dominates the enterprise.

  5. If you cannot use your own domain name on MobileMe it will only be used by consumers. I receive 100% of my email at my own personal domain name. I’m not going to forward this to me.com or respond from me.com.

    If Apple doesn’t allow you to use your own domain names, it will not be “Exchange for the rest of us”, it will only be “Exchange for the few”.

  6. SIMPLY POWERFUL

    This article read like a war strategy book. Steve Jobs got the ultimate MobileMe weapon.
    MobileMe has a potential that very very few among us can possibly imagine. But it’s still overlooked.
    By saying the following, the guy envision an outcome that would certainly make Gates and Ballmer fuming:

    “Given the code Apple already has for its iWork applications, how much more effort would it take to webify those apps, too? Not much, I’d say. A year from now I guarantee you that MobileMe will offer a complete suite of web-based Office applications.”

  7. As stated above the domain name thing will limit acceptance. So many companies use “myname@companyname.com” for all their emails. Maybe Apple can create an alias system that allows these addresses to function on mobileme. Solve that one issue and I think things will be super.

  8. Reading posts from Wealthy Industrialite, KA, TanZing and a couple of others,
    I just want to remind you that Steve Jobs already laid out answers for you.
    How did the “Steve” call MobileMe during his keynote? Well, his answer described the market”

    “MICROSOFT EXCHANGE FOR THE REST OF US”

    Here you think mainly of:
    Individual consumers, freelancers, small and medium biz.
    What you’ve seen of MobileMe was just the beginning.
    That thing will be upgraded to resolve small issues, such as:
    “use it with your own domain name”, which is just a DNS tiny issue.

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