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Last week a former Apple employee posted a scathing breakdown of Apple's cluelessness in cloud services. The article notes that Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is learning to grok cloud services.
Let's see, we've gone through iTools (yes, I'm ignoring eWorld), dot mac (the very name was awkward), iWork.com (forever a beta, now defunct) plus MobileMe and now... iCloud. For users of all of these services, the reality of the experience fell short of the promises made by Apple at packed-to-capacity keynotes. In the case of MobileMe's calamitous debut, those failures meant a team-wide, brutal evisceration by the CEO. Is the same angry finger-pointing happening now? Maybe it should be.
Apple makes great hardware, adequate software and terrible web services. It's a huge problem for the company, and it will continue to weigh Apple down as iCloud continues to offer sync and data management nightmares.
This time it's personal
Let's ignore the myriad App Store errors. Let's forget what a clusterfudge MobileMe was, or how Apple-hosted mail dies like Prometheus (regularly and painfully). And does anyone even recall the "exclusive" dot mac Dashboard widgets we were promised? No, you do not, for good reason.
Apple hasn't seemed to have its eye firmly on this stuff until very recently, when it realized that forcing customers to connect their Mac or Windows machine with a cable to sync iDevices was a patently bad idea. Well, that and Google (and pretty much everyone else in the Valley) has been beating them to death with excellent online services for a few years now.
My own bout of horrid luck with Apple's ignorance of data
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