Talking tech since 2003

For years now, Apple has maintained a downloads page on their website where OS X users new and old could browse through a list of software titles, read details about software titles, and even purchase and download content onto their Macintosh computers.  This portion of Apple’s website was seen as greatly beneficial in allowing new Mac users transition over to OS X with ease.  However, what was once seen as a simplistic way of browsing and purchasing software titles is beginning to seem more and more dated; especially with Apple implementing an App Store on the Mac OS X platform come January 6th.  Because of this, Apple announced today that they will be closing the legacy downloads page in order to make room for the new and improved App Store.

I personally support Apple’s decision to close down their downloads page, simply because it is no longer going to be an important resource.  When looking at the success of the iOS App Store, one of the large contributing factors towards its success was the ease of use.  By allowing individuals to purchase and download software in the most simplistic way possible, Apple saw a massive success with the iOS App Store – and will likely see the same success on the OS X side as well.

However, one of the most important factors about the iOS App Store is the fact that it is the only (supported) way to install third-party applications on the iPhone, iPod, or iPad.  This allows Apple to have a deeper and more direct role in the end-users’ continued use of the product, and ultimately allows the company to ensure a higher level of product quality.

In this same sense, part of me feels that Apple is doing everything in their power to rid themselves of the “traditional” download method.  Because by discontinuing support for the downloads page on Apple’s website, the company will make the App Store a lot more appealing for both end-users and developers; thus addressing one of the largest challenges to the App Store’s success and giving the App Store a greater potential to succeed in the end.

At the end of the day, closing the download page on Apple’s website will eliminate an unnecessary competition within the company.

As eager as Apple may be to shut down their downloads page, however, they are still going to be up against the challenge of convincing all of the other download sources to transition over to the unified App Store.  While not as difficult as the prospect of creating a Windows App Store, Apple still has their work cut out for them.


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