It's rather confusing, this MobileMe transition. When it was first mooted it seemed too good to be true and, later, for some it undoubtedly was. Rolling out all these great ideas on one day was bound, with the glorious benefit of hindsight, to harbour the possibility of something going horribly wrong.
It did! For example, I had carefully created a .Mac Group over the last three months that was finally beginning to pay off after I had sorted out all the little glitches. Lo and behold Apple announced (in the small print), with no real preamble, that they were discontinuing Groups. It's not as if all the .Mac features were free, in which case there would have been less reason to grumble; oh no - we are paying for the privilege.
However, for a couple of weeks the only bits of my .Mac to MobileMe transitional service that didn't work was were .Mac Groups & Homepage. Everything else, the 'Push' email, calendars, bookmarks and address book all worked perfectly right from the start. All my Macs and my iPod touch all synced automatically and really made life easier, as I know that all my key data is identical and up to date on all the Macs.
However, the .Mac Group was unreachable and no one could log on. So I cast around to try to find some other hosts that could offer a similar service. All promised much and delivered little; Google Groups, Yahoo Groups etc were all recommended by friends, but had pop-up adverts and lacked design finesse and just looked really tacky in comparison to Apple's slick offering. I set up test Groups using them all, but hadn't the heart, or perhaps the courage, to invite anyone to join after they had seen the previous benefits of a .Mac experience!
Suddenly, to my surprise, on Sunday I was able to log in to my .Mac Group and work on it as if nothing had ever happened. Oh joy! However, my happiness is tempered by the fact that I will never be able to create any more MobileMe Groups as that side is apparently finished. Apple don't seem to have listened to any of their customers although there is a great deal of angst on the Apple forums. It may well be that MobileMe Groups and Homepage reappear due to public pressure. I certainly hope so.
What is most surprising about the MobileMe service, thus far, is that no one has challenged Apple's right to change the service. If it were a free service I doubt that there would be as many complaints, but we, the subscribers, signed up and paid for one service and now find ourselves being pressganged into another without consultation. In my own case I am not getting what I paid for and really valued - Groups & Homepage. A colleague, for the time being at least, can only access his e-mail via the MobileMe web site and can't use iCards. Most unsatisfactory. Now in the glorious USA, being the litigious nation that it is, someone must surely find this change of service a breach of contract. Not that any individual ever seems to be in a position to challenge the Apple organisation. However I am surprised that, at the moment, this shaky transition has not come to the attention of an enterprising group of lawyers. Just imagine receiving a Mac Mini when in reality you had ordered a Mac Pro, or a Ford Ka when you had ordered, and paid for, a top-of-the-range Mondeo? And finally, how do you contact Apple to complain? The answer is, you can't, not really, and guarantee that anyone will listen.
However, by and large, apart from the issues noted, I have found MobileMe to be a slicker system than .Mac. I have never really had to use web-based .Mac email as everything has always worked perfectly on Apple Mail. During the transition some of the Help pages and links have proved confusing, non-existent or constantly altering, but this seems to have been ironed out now and I certainly have not experienced 99% of the day-to-day problems that seem to have affected other users. That's the trouble with User Forums; only people who have problems complain, whilst the majority who have had a relatively painless transition sit back quietly and just get on with things! The complaining minority tend to bias the overall impression, not that they are imagining their problems.
I must admit that I would still willingly pay for a Family MobileMe account just for the Push facilities; everything else is a bonus. The ability to use iWeb, print services from iPhoto and shop at iTunes, the Mac Store and the App Store makes it an unbeatable service in my opinion.
But, as ex-.Mac subscribers, we aren't getting what we originally paid for!
iMac 2.93GHz, 2x iMac 20" 2.0GHz, 2x MBP 15" 2.66GHz & MacBook 13" 2.1GHz on OSX 10.8. PM G5/1.8DP, 2x PM G5/1.6 on OSX 10.5.8. PB G4/867 12", PM G4/450 & PM G3/400 on OSX 10.4.11. iPod Touch & iPhone 4