Steve Jobs admitted that Apple launched its MobileMe web service prematurely. Downtime and unhappy customers plagued the bug-ridden service immediately after Apple unveiled it last month.
Ars Technica reports from an internal email Jobs sent to employees, describing how Apple jumped the gun and released a product that simply wasn't ready:
Steve Jobs admitted that MobileMe was launched too early and "not up to Apple's standards." The e-mail, seen by Ars Technica, acknowledges MobileMe's flaws and what could have been done to better handle the launch. In addition to needing more time and testing, Jobs believes that Apple should have rolled MobileMe's services out slowly instead of launching it "as a monolithic service." For example, over-the-air iPhone syncing could have gone up initially, then web apps one by one (Mail, Calendar, etc.).
Jobs goes on. "It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store," he says. "We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence."
Despite MobileMe's pretty face, it remains a specialized web service with paying customers who expect high reliability and availability. Apple should now implement a status reporting system, such as that employed by Salesforce.com and Amazon web services.
Here's a screen capture from Amazon's status site:
While cute user interfaces and pretty fonts are nice, they're not enough to satisfy the needs of paying customers.
[Image from Bert Palmer]