updated 02:15 am EST, Wed December 12, 2007
.Mac is no. 2 seller
Apple's second hottest seller this year has been little more than an empty box, since the company's retail stores are selling large amounts of the .Mac packages – largely due to the integration of the service with Mac OS X and iLife. Computerworld reports that the .Mac retail box, which contains a serial number on a slip of paper and empty space for the most part, has been leaping off shelves at the Apple stores. According to NPD research analyst Chris Swenson, this could indicate a growing trend with software developers, offering a boxed idea or service, rather than distributing software for users to install on their machine.
With the emergence of several free options, such as notMac, and the availability of large-storage email services like Google's Gmail, the key to Apple's success with the service will revolve around staying competitive. Apple updated .Mac in August, introducing 10GB of storage for single users and 20GB for families, larger mail attachments, Widget integration with web .Mac web pages, and more.
The notMac Challenge recently received an answer to its request posed to developers around the world: create a free, open-source utility that provides client-side .Mac services for users who run their own servers. Ben Spink has claimed the prize of almost $9000 for indulging the challenge. His solution currently involves using a server running Mac OS X, but Windows and Linux ports are currently in development.