Apple joins in ‘end of free Internet’ bandwagon

Cough up or else

Apple is to start charging $100 a year for Web services that until now used to be free.

As of today, Apple said that its iTools service will be replaced by a new membership service called .Mac.

The membership includes new features, such as Backup and Virex anti-virus software, plus email and iDisk storage.

Apple has given existing iTools users until September 30 at a discounted price of $49.95.

After that, iTools will be no more.

According to a FAQ seen by El Reg .Mac membership includes "everything you need for life on the Internet [including]…tools you need to share and communicate with family and friends, while keeping your system safe."

Oh, and Apple says that the reason it's charging for email and stuff is because providing these services to "millions of customers comes at a considerable cost". ®

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