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MobileMe Accounts for iChat No Longer Indefinitely Available

I was just made aware that the tip on page 12 of this book about obtaining a free iChat account via MobileMe is out of date. When Apple converted its .Mac service into MobileMe, it also eliminated a long-standing policy of allowing a trial subscriber to retain a .Mac account for use with iChat even if the trial user didn’t sign up. That’s still true for any old mac.com account you may be using in this fashion. However, with MobileMe, your account is active for only 45 days after the end of a trial or after the account expires. Then the account is disabled, and the account’s name may be used by another subscriber if they request it. There’s a way around this, though, as Apple still offers free .Mac accounts if you know where to sign up for them. TidBITS editor Jeff Carlson explains how to create such an account with in iChat in Get a Free, Non-Expiring .Mac Address for iChat.

The advice about setting up an AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) account at no cost for use with iChat is still valid, however.

Thanks to fellow author and TidBITS editor Joe Kissell, author of Take Control of MobileMe, for explaining the MobileMe change, and to Jeff Carlson for his advice on .Mac free accounts.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman (Permalink)