MobileMe Is Dead; Long Live iCloud
We’ve been telling you for awhile now that Apple was making preparations for the final shutdown of MobileMe, the cloud service that preceded iCloud. When Apple first announced iCloud at last year’s WWDC keynote, they said that the older (and formerly paid) MobileMe service would be going offline on June 30th. On Saturday, right on schedule, Apple officially pulled the plug on MobileMe.
If you’re one of the remaining MobileMe users who hadn’t yet made the switch, you can no longer log into MobileMe to access any of your stuff as of Saturday. For a limited time, however, Apple is still offering you the chance to go ahead and make the switch to iCloud.
Apple has taken several steps in recent weeks to prepare users for this and to encourage them to make the jump to iCloud. For starters, they offered remaining MobileMe users a free upgrade to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Since iCloud requires OS X 10.7 Lion and Lion can only be installed on a system running Snow Leopard, many users of OS X 10.5 Leopard have not upgraded – after all, for all that Lion is only $30, Snow Leopard is $120. Making Snow Leopard free removed a major monetary obstacle to upgrade.
Apple also extended the period during which those who made the switch would get their additional storage for free. Many who had paid for extra MobileMe storage were reluctant to switch. To encourage them to go ahead and do it, Apple originally offered to let them have the corresponding iCloud service package for free for a brief period after the switch. In [MONTH; May?] they extended that period until September.
Finally, they sent out emails to the remaining MobileMe users last month reminding them that the MobileMe shutdown was imminent and encouraging them to make the switch.
As noted above, you can still clear out your MobileMe account and move your data to iCloud for a limited time. It is not clear just how long Apple will keep that last window of opportunity open, though. Eventually the service will be shut down completely, whereupon any user data still in the system will presumably be lost. So if you’re one of the last MobileMe holdouts, now’s the time to get your stuff out of the system before it’s gone for good.