Apple once again had to accept defeat and has announced that it will extend all subscriptions to its bug-ridden MobileMe service for yet another 60 days. This move comes after the company already gave every subscriber an extra 30 days after the botched launch of the product in July. MobileMe is quickly becoming Apple's most public failure in recent years - when the service first opened, it was basically rendered non-functional for the first couple of days, after that, a good number of users stopped receiving email, calendars disappeared or didn't sync, and the service often simply didn't work.
Even users who are still in the free trial will see their accounts extended. Apple has also posted an FAQ that should answer the most common questions.
MobileMe was supposed to be Apple's answer to Web 2.0 mail clients like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, but instead, it has turned out to be a relatively clunky and slow paid alternative to a lot of free services. While the MobileMe email client has some neat features like QuickReply, it often doesn't stack up against its free competitors.
Besides handling mail, MobileMe also manages contacts and calendars, as well as online storage and photo-management (both of which are pretty much useless for Windows users, by the way). MobileMe users have complained about problems with pretty much every single aspect of the service, so giving everybody a total of three free months of subscription (which is pretty much three times the lifetime of the service so far) is a small consolation for the agony a lot of paying users have had with MobileMe. Thanks to the constant service interruptions, MobileMe even became the target for phishers.
Given that nobody is paying for MobileMe right now anyway, maybe Apple should just have had an open, three-month beta period.