I’m actively looking for .Mac alternatives. Being a satisfied .Mac subscriber since I have my Powerbook to sync my personal data between my work and my house in a efficiently and no-fuss way, I can’t help to feel that lately Apple is pushing it too much, and I don’t like it. .Mac is no more no less than a huge Webdav server and remote storage, everything else is rendered and published by your local computer.
What is it with Apple that the new iLife suite of application can only use .Mac to 1. Publish your website with iWeb, 2. Publish your Photocast, 3. Publish your Podcast ? Are the next versions of iCal dropping support for my private Webdav server too ? Is Mail.app dropping support for POP and IMAP servers outside *.mac.com too ? iChat dropping Jabber ?
IMHO it is just not the way to go. Power users have their own servers and some local infrastructure that they want to use. OSX and iApps should allow these same users, often opinion makers that Apple used so wisely to create the OSX geek community and love brand awareness, to optionally use open protocols, more and more. Why piss on the 1% power user community while you have the 99% average joe/”couldn’t care less” rest opting for your default ? Thumbs down Apple!