The blogosphere is abuzz with mostly negative reviews on Apple’s newest iteration of it’s old .Mac service called MobileMe which was released concurrently with the iPhone 3G on July 11. MobileMe is a subscription based service (costs around $100 a year) offered by Apple that syncs up your eMail, calendar and contacts on multiple devices. So for example you update your iCal with a doctors appointment for next week on your iMac, Apples MobileMe servers will immediately push or propagate that info to other devices like your iPhone/iPod Touch, other Mac’s and even PC’s. Well almost immediately - more like fifteen minutes - according to this post by David Pogue of the New York Times.
Apple was saying the service offered “push” e-mail, calendar and contacts, meaning that changes were propagated instantly among devices. In fact, as I noted in my review, Macs and PCs don’t check for updates any more frequently than every 15 minutes. Otherwise, though, the system works very well — for me — and it’s extremely useful.
While it’s easy to be critical - and rightly so especially after they advertised it as a “push” but in reality the devices “pull” or request the info every 15 minutes - this only reiterates the fact that the concept of cloud computing is actually pretty complex and quite frankly the industry is still in the process of refining it. Everybody wants to be in the “cloud” as this article in CIO magazine from last March seems to suggest. Cloud computing is the buzzword du jour and is definitely the emerging technology at the moment and everyone wants to jump on the band wagon including Apple.
IMO Apple should stay away from the Data Center business and let others like Google and Amazon pursue it. Stick with what you do best and that is build cool products. Anyway fifteen minutes isn’t too bad if you ask me!