A few days ago, various websites noted a change in the recently released Mac OS X 10.5.3 that Apple replaced hard coded references of .mac with a variable, as if they plan to change the name at some point in the near future (WWDC 2008 is just around the corner).
Now it appears Apple owns me.com and mobileme.com. The SOA records confirm me.com, though not mobileme.com is owned by Apple. The timing and name strongly suggest the same owner. MarkMonitor.com manages domains for most of the large tech companies including Apple, so that’s to be expected. Remember Apple owned iPhone.org for ages before actually launching the iPhone, so it’s not impossible that this is just a strategic purchase and has nothing to do with a WWDC 2008 announcement.
;; QUESTION SECTION: ;me.com. IN SOA ;; ANSWER SECTION: me.com. 77583 IN SOA ns1.markmonitor.com. eddingsk.apple.com. 2008052918 28800 7200 604800 86400 ;; Query time: 16 msec ;; SERVER: 18.104.22.168#53(22.214.171.124) ;; WHEN: Sun Jun 1 22:17:29 2008 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 91
Considering the tight relationship between Google and Apple thanks at least in part to a certain someone, one must wonder if .mac will be replaced by a Google powered service. Google already offers pretty much the entire product line. It might make sense for Apple to just outsource the .mac operation to Google. Apple initially planned for .mac to be partially free (and it was initially), but costs forced it to be a paid only service. Letting Google power it, would undoubtedly be cheaper since Google has an ability to scale is unrivaled.
I’ve got to put together a better list of predictions before WWDC 2008 (as tradition requires). But this is likely one of them.