Apple is making some progress getting its problematic MobileMe email/calendar/syncing service up and running: It said last night that it’s started to restore email for the 1% of subscribers who have been without it for several days.
We turned on web access to their current email yesterday and the feedback has been cautiously positive. Since then, we’ve restored full email history (minus the approximately 10% of mail received between July 18 and July 22 which may have been lost) and the ability to access email from a Mac, PC and iPhone, to over 40% of these users, and expect the remainder to be restored in the next few days.
Apple announced MobileMe alongside the new iPhone 3G in June and was billing it as the consumer edition of Microsoft (MSFT) Exchange, the server that many big companies use to sync email, calendars, contacts, etc. on multiple computers. But Apple botched the launch: Services weren’t working as expected — and most important, many of its customers have had to live without email.
Apple (AAPL) has publicly offered a free month of service as an apology, and has started posting regular, public status updates on its site.