Apple speculation turns to online services

August 6, 2007, 2:57 PM UTC

The speculation about what Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs will announce Tuesday turned to online software this afternoon, as Apple enthusiast site Mac Rumors pointed out that parts of Apple’s .Mac service will be down for “scheduled maintenance” during the very hours – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – that Jobs will be addressing the press.

Apple’s .Mac starts at $99.95 per year for a package that includes Web publishing, storage, and the sharing of photos and files. It also includes e-mail, groups, and backup functions. The service has not been popular, even with Apple’s loyal customer base, because many of its features are available for less (or for free) on other sites, including those run by Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT).

Jobs hinted in a widely covered interview earlier this year that Apple would soon update .Mac.