Just 28 per cent of a Macworld Reader Poll questioning Apple's right to charge $99 for iTools agreed the decision was worth every penny.

Last week at Macworld Expo New York Steve Jobs announced the move to levy an annual charge on its previously free suite of online services

iTools was also renamed .Mac. New features were introduced to the service, including Backup and Virex anti-virus software, improved versions of existing iTools services, and additional email and iDisk storage space.

Of a total of 1,846 polled 53 per cent flatly disagreed with Apple's decision to charge $99 for iTools, while 19 per cent felt that the service was worth it, but should remain free.

"Now they want us to charge us for advertising their company," one respondee complained. "That was something I was happy to do free for them until now."

Another said simply "dot-Mac equals not Mac".

Others think Apple should leave parts of the old iTools service free, such as email. "Apple should leave email for free. I am quite happy to pay for the rest," one dissenter wrote, with another explaining that "give me email for $10 a year and I'd be happy."

One of the harshest verdicts of Apple's .Mac move came from a Macworld reader who likens Apple to a drug dealer: "Drug dealers give out free drugs then charge once you need it. Sounds very like .Mac email addresses to me."

Of those agreeing that .Mac is value for money, one commented: "A good service is a paid-for service."