Apple's iWeb to be shelved with MobileMe?

Apple's big investment in the cloud may mean the end of life for one of its early Web products. An e-mail exchange suggests that the company's iWeb software is going kaput.

Publishing to MobileMe through Apple's iWeb publishing software.
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple's iCloud announcements at last week's Worldwide Developers Conference had one product casualty in the form of MobileMe, but a piece of software the company ships with every Mac could be on the chopping block, too.

In a purported e-mail response to a customer asking if they should plan on going elsewhere to build their sites and get them hosted, Apple CEO Steve Jobs confirmed that the company is doing away with its iWeb site building software and connected hosting services.

As with other e-mails allegedly from the CEO, Apple does not comment on their authenticity and did not immediately respond to an inquiry on this one. MacRumors, which posted the e-mail thread, said the e-mail headers looked legitimate.

iWeb was added to the iLife suite in 2006 as a way for Mac users to design Web sites with a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor. For users with a MobileMe account, the software would allow them to push a site design straight to Apple's servers, or elsewhere using FTP. Apple last week announced that MobileMe would be closing up at the end of June 2012, though made no mention of iWeb coming down with it.

Compared to other components of the iLife suite, which include iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband, iWeb tended to get less attention, receiving just one major update in 2009. Nonetheless, like iDVD (which is another infrequently updated part of iLife) it provided a solution for customers to build a commonly-needed project with all their media, something Apple's gone after with its products and software since the early days of the Mac.

Apple's iCloud, which succeeds MobileMe, launches later this year alongside iOS 5. Unlike MobileMe, it's not a destination like .Mac and iTools that came before it. Instead, Apple is positioning it as a cloud service to keep user media, settings, apps, and music in sync across multiple devices. The company said last week that it would be providing more details about the eventual closure of MobileMe at a later date.