As the iDisk Dust Settles

According to Computer World, iCloud is Apple’s replacement for MobileMe, but what is/was MobileMe?

According to Wikipedia, “MobileMe is a subscription-based collection of online services and software offered by Apple Inc. Originally launched on January 5, 2000, as iTools, a free collection of Internet-based services for users of Mac OS 9, Apple relaunched it as .Mac on July 17, 2002, when it became a paid subscription service primarily designed for users of Mac OS X. Apple relaunched the service again as MobileMe at WWDC 2008 on July 9, 2008, now targeting Mac OS X, Windows, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users. On February 24, 2011, Apple discontinued offering MobileMe through its retail stores. The MobileMe retail boxes are also not offered through resellers anymore. Apple is also no longer accepting new subscribers for MobileMe. At the WWDC 2011, on June 6, Apple announced it will launch iCloud in the Northern Hemisphere Autumn 2011, which will replace MobileMe for new users. MobileMe itself will continue to function until June 30, 2012, at which point the service will no longer be available, although users are encouraged to migrate to iCloud before that date.”

Since iDisk from MobileMe is dead, that leaves services like DropBox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive winners. How does DropBox and SkyDrive differ from Carbonite and Mozy back-up services?

DropBox and SkyDrive are online storage services, but Carbonite and Mozy are online backups. So what is the difference between online storage and online backups? Automation and availability mostly. With DropBox and SkyDrive, you store files on a one-off basis, just as you would copying files to a flash drive, but with Carbonite and Mozy, you set up plans, syncs, and can file version – meaning you can save multiple versions of a file to capture older vs. later files. Essentially, you could use an online storage service as an online backup service, but it would be more work.

Read more about Dropbox for business and how it compares to SkyDrive.