As one of the nearly dozen people who still have one, it's with a heavy heart that I report the imminent demise of Apple's .Mac HomePage feature. Apple announced via email this morning that pages created with the tool will no longer be accessible as of 8 November.
This is the second step in a long process: in April 2009, Apple said that it would be "retiring" HomePage and that users would no longer be able to edit the content hosted there, as of July 2009. However, the company also said that users' sites would "remain live on the web for as long as you wish." (As long as that wish didn't extend past November 8, apparently.) With this latest move, Apple has gone from retiring HomePage to retiring HomePage, Blade Runner-style.
Files hosted on the .Mac homepage won't go away--users can retrieve them from their iDisks--but Apple is recommending all users switch to either a MobileMe Gallery or to a site published with the company's iWeb software. Those users looking to migrate their photos or videos from a HomePage to a MobileMe Gallery can refer to a pair of knowledge base documents. Web pages published using iWeb are not affected by this change.
And there we have it: the end of a long road for HomePage, which was part of Apple's online service when it launched as iTools back in 2000. It joins KidSafe and the late, lamented iCards on the island of misfit online tools, leaving Mail and iDisk as the only two surviving features of Apple's initial online foray.