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WebHelpDesk acquired, Mac and Linux versions disappear [Updated]


Web Help Desk is software that runs on Mac OS Server, among other platforms -- it's an enterprise "help tracking" package that allows small and large companies to track IT and help support across large teams and customer bases. Users access the ticketing system via their web browsers, or via their iPhones with the Web Help Desk iOS app.

The company that makes this software just got acquired by another IT software company called Solarwinds, but apparently Solarwinds is planning to do things over there a little differently: the Mac and Linux version download links have been removed from the website. A salesperson at the company emailed TUAW reader Neil, and says that "moving forward [Web Help Desk] is strictly Windows-based."

That's a strange decision -- according to the company's page, even Apple makes use of the Web Help Desk software, so there's definitely a call for the Mac version. On the company forums, another representative says the issue isn't quite over yet: Web Help Desk will continue to support previous Mac customers, and hasn't yet decided what the future holds.

In the meantime, there are plenty of alternatives for issue-tracking systems like this, many of which will work fine on Mac OS (and quite a few that are open source as well). Our own Brett Terpstra recommends the hosted Tender web app as a support solution, so that's worth checking out as well. Still, migrating from one of these systems to another is likely a huge pain, so hopefully Web Help Desk and Solarwinds will find the resources necessary to keep its Mac version up and running.

Update: Solarwinds has contacted TUAW to say that the Mac and Linux versions are still available from the company, and still supported. Anyone who wants to use or try out the software on Mac or Linux need only ask, and the software will be provided to them. So why were the links removed? Denny LeCompte, the VP of Products at Solarwinds, had this to say in our comments:

"Since we acquired Web Help Desk on July 25 and started selling it the very next day, we handed a brand new product to our sales team with very little time to train them. For the short term, we chose to reduce the variety of OS's we support for the 30-day free evaluation period. We did that to make it easier for the sales engineers to support the new product and provide a great experience for customers. We chose Windows to start with because it was the most popular evaluation download for Web Help Desk. We expect that we'll add back OS's to the evaluation as the internal team comes up to speed on the new product.

And as a couple of the commenters point out, the UI is completely web-based, so we're really only talking about which server OS it runs on. The founder of Web Help Desk was and is a big Apple fan, and the product is built on an Apple coding platform, and the UI has a very Mac OS feel to it. It's one of the reasons so many Mac folks have gravitated to the this product, and one of the main reasons we chose to acquire it."

You can read more of his statement below.

Thanks, Neil!

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