Apple’s address change is met with groans

FORTUNE -- I liked, an e-mail address I grabbed in 2000 when Apple (aapl) launched a long-since defunct online service called iTools. was short, nondescript, easy-to-remember and, starting last year, free.

I never much cared for, the alternative Apple tried to foist on me when it replaced .Mac with MobileMe. smacked of ego, narcissism and overzealous marketing, and I swore I'd never use it. I still send my e-mail from and it seems to get where it's supposed to go.

Now, according to a report in MacRumors, Apple is getting ready to transition users from to something called What that means for legacy .me and .mac addresses is unclear (see update, below). The relevant portion of the iOS 6 Beta 3 change log quoted by MacRumors is silent on the point; it merely says that users enabling Mail on their iCloud accounts for the first time will automatically receive an e-mail address that matches their address.

Not so silent were the groans registered in the comment streams of nearly every site reporting the news.

A sample from MacRumors:

  • Thataboy: ?? GROSS.
  • Lifeinhd: So they've traded the two-character "me" domain for one three times as long?
  • icloud: 5 email aliases; 5 email aliases; now 5 more email aliases. #toomanyaliases!
  • d3bruts1d: As long as they allow me to keep my <user> emails I don't care. I don't think I'd ever use a <user> email address.

UPDATE: Ars Technica's, Jacqui Cheng, who finds the changes "obnoxious," reports in an update that .mac and .me will still work under the new regime. We have it on good authority that she is correct.

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