Apple one-ups Google's Gmail
Back in January, Business 2.0 reported that Apple had found a new set of enemies: "Anyone who makes creative software that doesn't meet Jobs' exacting standards for design and usability." And that included Google, Yahoo, and a host of other Web giants. But in July, GigaOm's Om Malik pointed out that while Apple's desktop-based Mail software is great, Apple's .Mac webmail wasn't exactly living up to the company's reputation for design and ease of use.
Now Apple has promised a a new version of .Mac webmail, and Michael Arrington at TechCrunch says it could give Google's Gmail a run for its money. The most important feature, Arrington writes, is that .Mac lets you manage multiple email accounts, while Gmail restricts you to Google's own email. And best of all, .Mac syncs with Apple's Mail software, so you're not restricted to the Web-based interface.
Of course, a .Mac subscription costs $99 a year, while Gmail is free. Based on subscriber numbers, Mac users seem willing to pay the premium for now. But with Google CEO Eric Schmidt joining Apple as a director, boardroom discussions about the future of .Mac should get pretty interesting.
Keep your friends close and your enemy closer. Who is flanking who?
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