MobileMe, which cost users $99 per year, or $149 for a five-user Family Pack, has had a checkered history, stumbling badly during its 2008 launch, and was dogged by problems ranging from slow synchronization to extended email outages.
After MobileMe's launch debacle, Apple extended subscriptions by 30 days and turned the service over to a different executive. Then-CEO Steve Jobs also issued a blistering internal email to employees that said MobileMe was "not up to Apple standards" and that it had been a mistake to launch it alongside the debut of 2008's iPhone 3G and App Store.
Current MobileMe subscribers who switch to iCloud retain their email address, and their email, contacts, calendar and bookmarks are automatically migrated to the new service. Files stored on MobileMe's iDisk -- there's no comparable iCloud component -- must be moved to a Mac's or PC's local storage before June 30.
According to the Magasm blog, which yesterday reported the free Snow Leopard offer, Apple has been emailing MobileMe customers notifying them of the deal. Others can request a copy of OS X 10.5 by steering to Apple's website and signing in with the Apple ID linked to their MobileMe account.
The free copy of Snow Leopard will arrive on a DVD.
Apple is expected to launch its newest version of OS X, dubbed Mountain Lion, this summer.
MobileMe customers who fill out this form will receive a free copy of OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard. (Image: Apple.)
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.