Apple 2.0

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Apple's @icloud.com address change is met with groans

July 16, 2012: 6:33 PM ET

The company's third e-mail domain name in a decade is its worst yet

FORTUNE -- I liked ped@mac.com, an e-mail address I grabbed in 2000 when Apple (AAPL) launched a long-since defunct online service called iTools.

@mac.com was short, nondescript, easy-to-remember and, starting last year, free.

I never much cared for ped@me.com, the alternative Apple tried to foist on me when it replaced .Mac with MobileMe.

@me.com smacked of ego, narcissism and overzealous marketing, and I swore I'd never use it. I still send my e-mail from @mac.com and it seems to get where it's supposed to go.

Now, according to a report in MacRumors, Apple is getting ready to transition users from me.com to something called icloud.com. What that means for legacy .me and .mac addresses is unclear (see update, below). The relevant portion of the iOS 6 Beta 3 change log quoted by MacRumors is silent on the point; it merely says that users enabling Mail on their iCloud accounts for the first time will automatically receive an @icloud.com e-mail address that matches their me.com address.

Not so silent were the groans registered in the comment streams of nearly every site reporting the news.

A sample from MacRumors:

  • Thataboy: @icloud.com ?? GROSS.
  • Lifeinhd: So they've traded the two-character "me" domain for one three times as long?
  • icloud: 5 @mac.com email aliases; 5 @me.com email aliases; now 5 more @icloud.com email aliases. #toomanyaliases!
  • d3bruts1d: As long as they allow me to keep my <user>@me.com emails I don't care. I don't think I'd ever use a <user>@icloud.com email address.

UPDATE: Ars Technica's, Jacqui Cheng, who finds the changes "obnoxious," reports in an update that .mac and .me will still work under the new regime. We have it on good authority that she is correct.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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