MobileMe now in good hands with Eddy at the helm, insider says

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
A management shakeup at Apple sparked by the poorly executed launch of MobileMe has landed the internet service in the trusted hands of vice president Eddy Cue -- a man with a work ethic as grueling and demanding as Steve Jobs, says one insider.



When tossing around the names of Apple's top brass, Cue's name rarely pops up, but it should, argues Apple veteran Chuq von Rospach, because he's "as important to Apple's success as [industrial design chief] Jonathan Ive." His forte: mapping out the back-end infrastructures that make the company's "online universe tick."



Those who are familiar with Cue know him for managing the iTunes Store to resounding global success, but he was also a force behind .Mac and the ever popular Apple Online Store. "It's the not-sexy part of the company, but it's the guts that make all of the sexy front ends actually work," says von Rospach, who crossed paths with Cue during his years of managing Apple's email lists.



Cue's teams have long been self-contained, von Rospach adds, spending most of their time in "uncharted territory," implementing technology that never existed before on large scales "under really scary conditions." Over the years, he's earned the respect of Steve Jobs by delivering projects on time, to specification, all while keeping "the darn thing(s) a secret" in the process.



Cue is one of few who've proven up to the task of meeting the stringent demands of Jobs, which isn't easy, von Rospach explains. That's landed him the opportunity to work under the command of one of the most methodical minds in the industry while testing his hand at some "really great stuff," which can quickly become "addictive."



His secret is to surround himself with equals who are "just as maniacal" about their work, and who accept the absence of middle ground and the constant aura of "burnout."



"Eddy's no easier to work with than Steve is, for obvious reasons," says von Rospach. "I invariably warned people not to hire into his groups unless they wanted to donate their life to the cause."



Cue's latest challenge, as revealed in an email from Jobs to Apple employees earlier this week, is to rescue MobileMe from the mistakes that plagued its launch, repair its tarnished reputation, and steer it down a path that the company can be "proud of by the end of this year."



Like Jobs, von Rospach expresses confidence in the Cue's ability to succeed. He argues that, contrary to popular opinion, it's not that Apple lacks the expertise to run an internet service on the scale of MobileMe -- it already runs the largest global single-instance SAP environment for iTunes -- it's more about "the MobileMe people blowing it."



Of course, some of the responsibility for MobileMe's failure also lies with Jobs, who has the final say on which products his company launches and which it does not.



"He's never been afraid to say 'this ain't ready' and pull something from release," von Rospach notes. "His rehearsals for MacWorld Keynotes are legendary (and sometimes brutal), and stuff literally has disappeared in the last 24 hours, if he wasn't satisfied with it."



There is one caveat, however: Jobs was trusting and depending on someone to offer up the truth about MobileMe, and whether it was truly ready for prime time. And the person who told him it was ready to roll was obviously dead wrong, which caused considerable embarrassment for both Jobs and the company as a whole.



"Steve and Apple aren't terribly tolerant of that kind of major screwup," says von Rospach. "Just imagine Steve Jobs wandering the hall with a flame thrower in hand, asking random people 'do you work on MobileMe?'"



"The thing wasn't ready and the release got botched," he says. "And now Eddy has been brought in to fix it, which means it's going to get fixed."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    Cue's latest challenge, as revealed in an email from Jobs to Apple employees earlier this week, is to rescue MobileMe from the mistakes that plagued its launch, repair its tarnished reputation, and steer it down a path that the company can be "proud of by the end of this year."



    I hope that means they are not going to not only fix the current hiccups as quickly as they can, but that they are going add features including online alarms in the calendar app, a "new" separate tab for bookmarks and other new surprise tabs too. I'm not looking forward to anything, cause where Jobs is concerned I never hold my breath.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    jawportajawporta Posts: 140member
    I said it here on day one, someone was going to be fired. I wonder who was replaced?
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Excellent Report! loved reading every line! and I cannot wait to see what Cue does
  • Reply 4 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jawporta View Post


    I said it here on day one, someone was going to be fired. I wonder who was replaced?



    Steve



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChrisMTL View Post


    Excellent Report! loved reading every line! and I cannot wait to see what Cue does



    I can't either, cause the service isn't bloody working correctly.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Steve







    I can't either, cause the service isn't bloody working correctly.



    Do you advise to buy it now or wait?

    I mean why pay for something that's not working right. It's like paying for cable TV without all the channels your supposed to get and paid for- right?
  • Reply 6 of 67
    "The thing wasn't ready and the release got botched," he says. "And now Eddy has been brought in to fix it, which means it's going to get fixed."[/QUOTE]



    Hmmmm, it looks like the ME mailservers are down...



    "Additional information: The connection to the server ?mail.mac.com? on port 993 timed out."...



    Good Job Eddy!
  • Reply 7 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Do you advise to buy it now or wait?

    I mean why pay for something that's not working right. It's like paying for cable TV without all the channels your supposed to get and paid for- right?



    Wait, definitely wait. I'd give it a month, possibly longer.



    Even if it was working correctly it'd be missing some pretty obvious features like lack of cloud bookmarks (which .Mac had) and complete lack of Mobile me alarms.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    "It's the not-sexy part of the company, but it's the guts that make all of the sexy front ends actually work,"





    As opposed to sexy back ends....he he he
  • Reply 9 of 67
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    ISn't Eddy usually spelled Eddie?

    Isn't Eddy the name of an Ice Cream brand?

    As in Eddie Haskell or Munster?

    and Van Halen?
  • Reply 10 of 67
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Just imagine Steve Jobs wandering the hall with a flame thrower in hand, asking random people "do you work on MobileMe?"



    I can see him now in his keynote outfit, storming the halls, yelling "ONE MORE THING? OH I'LL SHOW YOU ONE MORE THING!!"







    I'm hoping Cue gets that iDisk/Mail attachment feature up and running. The one that presents a link to download, rather than the actual data being sent from one mailbox to another.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChrisMTL View Post


    Excellent Report! loved reading every line! and I cannot wait to see what Cue does



    All it was is sound bites from the blog post with some filler added.

    There was nothing added to the original post.



    Mobile Me has a lot of potential and is a definite improvement from .Mac

    Apple has always been behind the curve when it comes to the web.

    Their strength has always been the desktop.

    Safari and their close ties with Google have changed this to some degree.

    Since they are now in the web browser "game" they are spending more time looking down the road.

    They are investing in technologies like SquirrelFish and seeing the long term ramifications.

    This has led to their interest in SproutCore, which if played correctly could be a real game changer.



    Let's hope Steve gets it and Mobile Me isn't a "me too" effort.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Sounds like they out to pull it off the shelf.- fix it - then re-release it. And let people without iPhones have the option to keep .Mac as is. At least you don't have to have Vista - you can still get XP- right?
  • Reply 13 of 67
    artseartse Posts: 27member
    If Eddy Cue is responsible for "back-end infrastructures", why the h*** wasn't he responsible for MobleMe from the start? That's totally on Steve...
  • Reply 14 of 67
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Wait, definitely wait. I'd give it a month, possibly longer.



    Even if it was working correctly it'd be missing some pretty obvious features like lack of cloud bookmarks (which .Mac had) and complete lack of Mobile me alarms.



    I don't think Apple is planning to bring bookmarks or iCards back, but even if they are what I'm expecting Eddy to do is to focus on the connectivity and usability of what is currently offered first. Starting with email.



    I understand that most browsers will be able to view MM's complex AJAX well enough but they really should have a simple version for older sites and a way to view bookmarks again. The iCards I don't care about because I've never used but from the replies on these forums they are very popular with some.



    After all that is said and done I'd like to see iWork web apps and perhaps even an iTunes portal for streaming music from my home PC/Mac to my work machine using the MM iTunes controller.





    PS: If you really want to get Bookmarks that you can get remotely it's not too hard to export them to an HTML file and then put them in and email to you MM account. You can set this up in an an AppleScript to update in set intervals.
    STEP I: Export Bookmarks

    STEP II: Open exported bookmarks .HTML file

    STEP III: Mail Contents Of This Page
  • Reply 15 of 67
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    How many lawsuits will result from this fiasco?
  • Reply 16 of 67
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    How many lawsuits will result from this fiasco?



    Has there been even one announced?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ehogeweg View Post


    Hmmmm, it looks like the ME mailservers are down...



    "Additional information: The connection to the server “mail.mac.com” on port 993 timed out."...



    Good Job Eddy!





    I think it's a bit much to expect fixes to happen immediately if the problem is infrastructure. It's a service that might have a couple million subscribers, it's not just a matter of getting a mail server reconfigured.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don't think Apple is planning to bring bookmarks or iCards back, but even if they are what I'm expecting Eddy to do is to focus on the connectivity and usability of what is currently offered first. Starting with email.



    Yes, I too would suggest fixing basic "meat and potatos" parts of the service before addressing the niceties.
  • Reply 17 of 67
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Has there been even one announced?





    .



    It's much too early. Also depends how long it's remains broken. The longer- the more of them.

    I guarantee there will be one or more on something so obvious and with people so petty.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    .Mac was terrible for it's entire life span... if Eddie Cue is so great, how come .mac sucked so bad? Why do I get the feeling Jobs has been duped.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    .Mac was terrible for it's entire life span... if Eddie Cue is so great, how come .mac sucked so bad? Why do I get the feeling Jobs has been duped.



    Because he was just appointed to fix .Mac/MM.
  • Reply 20 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    ISn't Eddy usually spelled Eddie?

    Isn't Eddy the name of an Ice Cream brand?

    As in Eddie Haskell or Munster?

    and Van Halen?



    No it is Eddy.



    I hope he has taken a picture of himself to give to his wife cause I doubt she will see him

    for several months now that he is going to fix the Me fiasco.



    I wonder who he will dump some of the iTunes store stuff on (Chris B?)
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