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MobileMe disappears for another 7 hours

When free trials become real trials

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Apple's cloud vanished for another seven hours over the weekend, depriving some MobileMe users of their email and services despite status reports indicating everything was operating fine.

The disappearance was noticed by Pingdom, who monitor the availability of popular services, though Apple isn't admitting the service was unavailable and the problem does appear to have only struck some regions.

Apple has conceded that "some MobileMe members may have been unable to send MobileMe Mail via the web. Normal service has been restored". That post is dated to the 3rd, and apparently relates to a problem that lasted an hour and three quarters, so is presumably unrelated to the swathe of problems that users are still reporting on the Apple support forums.

The postings indicate that users are still having problems despite the service having a "green" status: "Can't send email and yet all mobile me services are getting the green light ... Do they think that if they don't advise us their [sic] having problems we wont notice?"

The problem here seems to be a cultural one, rather than any inability on Apple's part. $99 a year is a decent price for what Apple is offering - cheap enough that occasional problems will be tolerated - but denying the problems exist or refusing to acknowledge they happened will just aggravate users.

Apple needs to understand that punters want to know what's happening if they're going to start paying money for MobileMe once their repeatedly extended free trials run out. ®

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