Apple: Shut down MobileMe immediately

Apple: Shut down MobileMe immediately

Summary: Not long after blogging about Apple's MobileMe mea culpa ten days ago comes a leaked email memo purportedly authored by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and sent to all hands regarding the MobileMess.A few hours after the Ars Technica piece on the MobileMemo from Jobs, setteB.


Apple: Shut down MobileMe immediatelyNot long after blogging about Apple's MobileMe mea culpa ten days ago comes a leaked email memo purportedly authored by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and sent to all hands regarding the MobileMess.

A few hours after the Ars Technica piece on the MobileMemo from Jobs, setteB.IT published the full text of the email message sent to all Apple employees about the MobileMe launch.

It reads, in part:


The launch of MobileMe was not our finest hour.  There are several things we could have done better:

– MobileMe was simply not up to Apple's standards – it clearly needed more time and testing.

– Rather than launch MobileMe as a monolithic service, we could have launched over-the-air syncing with iPhone to begin with, followed by the web applications one by one – Mail first, followed 30 days later (if things went well with Mail) by Calendar, then 30 days later by Contacts.

– It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store.  We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.

Read the rest at

Apple's attempt at a MobileMe "status page" is nothing more than window dressing and appears to be DOA after just three half-hearted updates. Apple's culture of secrecy has finally bit them in the ass and MobileMe is a glaring example of why full-scale alpha and beta testing is required with a large group of outside users for such a massive undertaking.

What the hell were they thinking? To quote Merlin Mann "Sync is hard" and Apple seriously underestimated the requirements and resources required of a service like MobileMe.

After dealing with phone calls this weekend from friends that had both their iPhone and their Mac's contacts, calendars and bookmarks completely overwritten with blank data from "the cloud" I've come to the conclusion that Apple needs to shut down MobileMe immediately and refund everyone's money.

They can re-launch it in about six months – or whenever it's fully vetted – maybe for half the price, or for free. Apple might even consider running MobileMe through the App Store approval process instead of the bogus super-secret, Cold War era round of "internal" testing that the may/may not have done with 1.0.

MobileMe is a black eye on the company and on all of its users and it's time to pull the plug before things get much worse. Do the right thing Apple, shut down MobileMe now.

[poll id=140]

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Collaboration, Hardware

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  • Apple blunders getting worse

    Is Apple on the road to ruin? They certainly have started
    making unthinkable mistakes. What happened to the Apple
    who crossed all the "T's" and dotted the "I's"? They seemed
    much more solid when they were a small player in the
    computer market and owned the music player market. Then
    they started the whole iPhone thing and OS X Leopard came
    out buggy and under cooked and the rocky road started.
    Is Apple a company spreading itself too thin?? I think yes!
    • It's the culture of secrecy...

      Apple's so deathly afraid of something leaking before they announce it that they do zero, nada, no external testing on the majority of their products.

      This should be a major wake up call. They clearly bit off more than they can chew this time.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Agreed

        hopefully they learn from this experience. I can still understand secrecy on Market redefining products like the iphone and ipod, but on something like this?
      • RE: It's the culture of secrecy

        Quote:[i]This should be a major wake up call. They clearly bit off more than they can chew this time.[/i]

        [b]I would hope that they do not easily forget the FOUL taste their roll out left in the 'mouths of their customers'.[b]

        And, no, it does not taste like chicken!
    • get it together

      They do need to get it together. Some of their software and
      hardware during the past couple of years are not what I've
      come to expect. Some stuff is just plain phenomenal (Final
      Cut, Aperture, Keynote) while other stuff (iPhone/iPod
      software, Pages) are lacking in ways I never thought Apple
      was capable of.
    • New strategy...

      [i]What happened to the Apple
      who crossed all the "T's" and dotted the "I's"?[/i]

      Now they're dotting their T's and crossing their eyes. :-)
  • What about .Mac?

    I'd have been happy with them waiting to release it until it
    was perfect, but in it's current state it's exactly like .Mac
    with a flashier interface. I don't see how it's really a
    detriment to keep it going. MobileMe's sync actually works
    a little better than .Mac's sync, so I can't complain about

    However, I had a .Mac account that was converted into
    MobileMe, and most of my e-mail goes to that address. If
    MobileMe is shut down, Apple would have to somehow
    keep my e-mail going until they bring it back up. I'm sure
    it would be just as much of a hassle to revert back to .Mac,
    so that's out of the question. My mail is forwarded to a
    Gmail account, but I'm sure most people just use the
    MobileMe interface to get their mail.
  • RE: Apple: Shut down MobileMe immediately

    this is the dumbest shit i've ever seen on this page. yeah,
    they screwed up, but seriously, it's not worth shutting it
    down. i've been part of the trial and experienced none of
    the problems that anyone has experienced - or those
    made up friends you refer to here in order to prove a point.

    look, if the service were completely useless and unuseable,
    yes, i'd agree that they should shut it down and regroup.
    but, the fact is, that it is working fine for at least 99% of
    the people using it - 100% now that they've fixed the mail
    issue. they should've tested more. they should've rolled it
    out in pieces. but, seriously, you sound like a moron for
    suggesting they shut it down. way to blog for hit.s
    Shawn Bailey
    • Shaun, you're an apologist.

      Shaun -

      Stop being an Apple apologist! Just because it's working for you that its working for everyone else too. Have you been reading any of the other Apple sites lately? What about the reports in the MSM? Still think that I'm making it up?

      I assume that you've successfully synced your iPhone, computer and MobileMe then, correct?

      Any everything was intuitive and worked the first time?

      (Yeah, RIGHT!)

      Tell the truth and be honest with yourself.

      As for your insinuation that I made up facts to support my blog post, I didn't. They called me for help when all their data vanished after turning on syncing on the iPhone. And it happened to me. I've been doing this far too long to make things up.

      I suggest that you take your blinders off and stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • a reply!

        Hey Jason

        Wow, I've never actually gotten a response from a writer.

        Though, I do promise, I'm not an apologist. I was pissed at
        the 2.0 software release - ask my co-workers. I give Apple
        plenty of bad words when they mess my stuff up. But, I
        was trying to convey the point that shutting it down didn't
        make sense when a large majority of the users weren't
        experiencing any problems. Now, granted, I don't use the
        Apple Mail ( so I could've been part of that
        mythical 1% Apple mentioned, but, the other stuff all
        worked fine for me. Promise. All you have to do is slide a
        couple buttons and it's there.

        And sorry, maybe that was kind of a dick thing to say
        about the blog hits and making people up.

        So yeah, no kool-aid here man. I expect a hell of a lot
        from a company I've given a good amount of money to, so,
        I don't give them free passes on much.

        Keep it up, you're still on my RSS feed!

        Shawn (with a 'w')

        PS - regarding the MSM, those tools just regurgitate what
        you all spend your time writing. They suck.
        Shawn Bailey
      • deja vu

        Wow, I have definitely seen this thread before. Is this an Apple-critical blog or a Vista-critical blog?? They're both the same.

        none none
      • works for me too

        Not to minimize the negative impacts it has had on some
        people (and I believe a minority)... everything works fine
        for me too. To shut down MobileMe would have a 100%
        negative impact on my MM experience, and the everyone
        else for whom it works. And you think shutting down MM
        is an [b]improvement?[/b] I'm with the poster who said
        you were blogging for hits.

        Yes, it was not yet ready to roll out. Fix MobileMe - Sure.
        Should have tested it - Yes. Shut it down?? That is like
        cutting off your nose to spite your face.
      • And you're an hysteric

        Just because it's not working for you is not reason to demand
        that it be shut down so it doesn't work for anyone at all.

        Get a grip.
        Steve Hix
      • Back off both of you.

        Calling those who disagree "morons" or "apologists" serves no useful purpose?but that is the way of these computer threads. If you wouldn't call someone a moron to his face, what makes it acceptable to do so in writing?

        Assuming Jobs' email is genuine, I see much that is positive about it: Steve acknowledges mistakes, sets up a plan to avoid similar ones, and treats employees with respect rather than "dressing them down."

        As for Apple's penchant for secrecy, I think in today's high tech business world, secrecy is a necessary business practice, or, if you prefer, a necessary evil.

        From my perspective, it seems to me that Apple's policy of secrecy has contributed much to its success: it protects Apple's plans for future products and it promotes much free publicity when new product releases become imminent.
  • RE: Apple: Shut down MobileMe immediately

    Who is this Redmond blowhard? My Mobileme works perfectly
    and always has. How come? Probably problems with dogmeat
    windows machines.

    Please, go back to wishing for windows 7 or whatever and
    leave us alone.
    • Relax, man.

      it's great that it works for you, but it has been pretty bad for a lot of us. you are not the only one out there. the problem has nothing to do with "dogmeat windows machines."
    • Little Jealous?

      Sounds like someone is jealous of Redmond? Is it the fact that Microsoft has been using Activesync for years and everyone I know that has it loves it, even the new iPhone owner I know. Maybe Apple is using Windows servers to run Mobileme, but that would be kind of weird and I wouldn't blame it on the OS, I would blame it on the admin of those systems. I can assure you that if they just let MobileMe run from Windows Servers and Exchange with Activesync that none of this would be an issue and everyone would have had their email and synced the first time every time. I set up Exchange and Activesync for my company 3 years ago and haven't been down once since. Sure beats the blackberry service too! But hey your right, their products are just dogmeat, I should just take your word on it man.
  • RE: Apple: Shut down MobileMe immediately

    This is such a BS post it is hard to believe you wrote it because I really like your writing and podcast. Have you been
    drinking the Dvorak cool-aid or something? I think you are
    being a bit of a page hits whore here Jason. MMe is out in
    the wild. They need to fix it. They screwed the pooch on the
    launch but going back is not going to be an option.
    • Make up your minds!

      Faceless TalkBackers really crack me up.

      If I write something that's pro-Apple, then I'm a shill, fanboy, whatever and M$ trolls come out en masse to bury me.

      If I criticize Apple, then I'm labeled the Anti-Apple, Kool Aid drinking second coming of John Dvorak.

      Both sides, take a deep breath.

      - We all agree that MobileMe has had problems from day 1 - correct?

      I'm simply saying that rather than continue with the blood-letting and risking losing your customer's data (what could be worse than that?) Apple needs to shut it down (at LEAST the syncing part) until the problems are fixed.

      Apple's got a royal problem on their hands and it doesn't appear to be fixed.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Lol I know the feeling man

        Say anything either way and you're screwed by one side or the other.

        I have to agree with people though: once a product like this is out there it really can't just be shelved again for a few months, the damage to Apple would be far worse that way. Where that leaves the customers who are losing data is a completely different story i guess.... I don't really know exactly how the mobile me service works, but wouldn't the best solution in the interim be to enforce a bulletproof backup of some sort before users can even touch the service? and also enforced interim backups?