Apple today notified customers that it will unify login information across Apple ID and .Mac accounts. The change takes place on April 10, 2003.

Before .Mac came into the picture, Apple's web site implemented a customer account system for its Online Store and its online support system. Users were provided with "Apple IDs" that enabled the Web site to retain account information about them, such as billing information and customization preferences for Apple's Knowledge Base system.

.Mac, meanwhile, is Apple's subscription-based online service. The service includes e-mail and online storage, access to exclusive software, Web hosting and other services. Up until now, Apple IDs and .Mac user accounts have been separate, requiring users to remember two separate account names and passwords -- unless the user made them the same.

Under the new system, users can track all information with one account and password. .Mac accounts will now serve as the Apple ID.

"If your account names (User IDs) and passwords for your Apple ID and .Mac accounts were already the same, you may not notice this change. However, if you want to change your password, you will soon be able to do it in either account and the changes will apply to both accounts," noted Apple in a posting to the .Mac Support message board. "If your .Mac password and the password for the corresponding Apple ID are different, your Apple ID password will be changed to match your .Mac password."