updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu July 14, 2011
Pushes developers further toward Mac App Store
Apple has closed up its long-standing Downloads page for Mac OS X, visitors have discovered. While the URL still works, content now promotes the Mac App Store. Previously it served as a directory of software available to Mac owners, and consequently a way of both promoting Macs and giving exposure to developers.
The exact time at which the switchover happened is unclear, although the directory was still active as recently as two weeks ago. In December Apple stated that it would "no longer offer apps on the Mac OS X Downloads site" as a result of the Mac App Store. No deadline was given though, and the widgets section is still functional. Otherwise, links point people to things such as Safari extensions or iTunes 10.
The shift likely reflects the imminent launch of OS X Lion. Once the upgrade is out, both the current- and previous-generation versions of Mac OS X will have access to the Mac App Store. Dropping the Downloads page may however force more developers to turn to the Mac App Store, where Apple claims a 30 percent cut of any sales.