Apple announces Windows Live rival – we’re jealous

At Apple’s annual WWDC event, held today, Steve Jobs announced a new software+services product: MobileMe. Offering to synchronise emails, contact, and calendar data, the new service seems just like Windows Live. Except cooler (check out the screenshots) and also coming in at a fairly hefty $99 a year.

Firstly Apple announced a whole range of web-based applications to complement the existing desktop applications. There’s an email application in the browser, which from the screenshot looks very clean. Hotmail team take note. Contacts also synchronise between devices, similar to Windows Live for Windows Mobile if you are running that.

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Then there’s the photos application, again it looks great in the browser, but as its not available until July we can’t comment on performance. For sure Apple has just raised the benchmark on Web2.0 design.

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Finally they demoed a Calendar application in the browser. Looks pretty basic but still, it synchronises with the desktop (luckily for us the upcoming beta version of Windows Live Mail has that functionality too). Apple manages to get the calendar synchronising with the iPhone though, talk about delivering it all in one go. Impressed, yes.  

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Engadget mentions that iDisk, Apple’s equivalent of Skydrive is getting an upgrade too, offering 20GB of online storage. The Apple website explains that the iDisk functionality allows users to access files from any Mac or PC, however it doesn’t appear as though these changes are synchronised between between devices. The ability to share folders with friends is there though, so to me this appears to be a SkyDrive, not Live Mesh competitor.

From a first look though, Apple’s consumer offering here is a) more complete than Windows Live b) packaged better but c) more expensive. We’ll definitely be giving the 60 day free trial a go once it’s available.

(Images taken from Engadget liveblog)