Drew Saur, founder of The Mac Orchard, confirmed today that he is permanently shutting down his popular applications repository. Those that follow The Mac Orchard may have noticed that Saur stopped updating the website in July. He has decided to extend this hiatus and said his final good-bye today. For the last 15 years, The Mac Orchard website has been a haven for Mac users looking for internet software. Many Mac users, especially in the early days, would visit The Mac Orchard to download the latest Usenet reader or IRC client, read user reviews and get Drew's hand picked selections.
Over the years, internet usage has evolved and many of these older network protocols, like NNTP, now have web-based counterparts. The debut and subsequent improvement of Mac OS X also changed application usage patterns. Mac users no longer need an alternative email client or web browser as the native mail client and Safari web browser are sufficient for most people. The nail in the coffin was Apple's announcement that it is bringing its App Store to Mac OS X. The Mac App Store will provide a bounty of applications and user reviews, all of which are easily accessible from the user's desktop. W hen the Mac App Store rolls out sometime next year, there will be little utility in maintaining a dedicated website that has a similar function.
There is some good news in this announcement. Though Saur will not update the site, The Mac Orchard is not disappearing completely. The domain will remain in Saur's possession, and he will convert the website to something very different. Power users who still use some of this software will be happy to know that most of the content on the website is being transferred to a third-party. Saur will make an announcement about this transfer soon. Saur also reassures the community that he will still be around to answer the occasional question.