— part of the
has announced VersionTracker Pro 2.0.
You can use Pro to monitor the software inventory and version status for up to 10 Macs, either via a newly revamped desktop interface on each Mac or though a single Web-based console to compare the status of all 10 at once. The Pro version includes all the functionality of VersionTracker Plus.
VersionTracker Plus extends the functionality of VersionTracker.com and provides tools for taking advantage of the Web site and the backend VersionTracker database. The tools let you manipulate the gigabytes of information in the VersionTracker database, so you can perform advanced searches by product or category or by day and date.
“With the new VersionTracker Pro 2.0 release, we’re substantially enhancing the feature set on the Web site,” Ralph Risch told MacCentral.
The Pro service costs US$49.95 per year — from now through May 23, you also get a free T-shirt for signing up. The Plus version has an introductory price of $19.95 for the first year. The VersionTracker Web site, which is free, will stay basically the same, though a few features have been moved over to the subscription services.
“We looked at the usage of features on the Web site and found three or four areas that weren’t being used very much,” Risch said. “The Editor’s Picks, Top Downloads, and Previous Days Listings are all now part of the Plus version. The Advanced Search was also used very little and will be a paid feature.”
Why the changes? The advertising business has been tough lately, and there are costs in maintaining a Web site’s content and keeping the site up and running, Risch said. The subscription services let VersionTracker invest in the functionality of their online property and products, he added. Plus, the company has an engineering team dedicated to the Mac platform. That part of VersionTracker is supported by the Pro and Plus services, Risch said.
Both the Web site, VersionTracker Plus, and VersionTracker Pro offer access to the latest upgrades and patches (over 11,000 applications and counting have been tracked) and user reviews and comments.
Both the Plus and Pro services offer a customized watch list that let you get proactive alerts on specific software you want to track. Both let you view yesterday’s releases or any other day you’d like to view. You can organize your downloads with a download cart, download updates directly from the home page or More Info pages without the ad page, and view the Editor’s Picks. The Plus and Pro versions both offer an advanced search feature, an option to turn ads on or off, and view the top downloads of the day.
VersionTracker Ticker is exclusive to the Pro version (and is a Mac OS X only feature). The Carbonized desktop application features the latest updates from the VersionTracker database and is updated hourly. The Pro version offers automatic alerts for a specific Mac’s software and the ability to get your update alerts any way you want: direct on your desktop, though your customized VersionTracker Pro tab, or via e-mail.
Meanwhile, VersionTracker has concluded a story analyzing the migration from the traditional Mac operating system to Mac OS X and reported “strong progress in Mac OS X adoption.” VersionTracker started tracking Mac OS X applications and updates in 2000, shortly after Apple released Mac OS X Server. Since that time, Mac OS X updates have increased steadily, according to said Ian Schray, product manager for VersionTracker. The 50 Mac OS X daily postings to the VersionTracker web site now outnumber Classic daily updates two-to-one. As of April, the VersionTracker database contained over 2,500 Mac OS X applications, he added.
“As the most up-to-date resource for Mac software, we’re in a great position to view the Mac OS X migration,” Schray said in announcing the results of VersionTracker’s study. “We’re tracking 99 percent of the Mac OS X applications out there and the numbers speak for themselves. It’s very impressive.”
Traffic patterns have changed as well. Traffic log analysis show February 2002 was the first month where Mac OS X page views exceeded views for “Classic” applications. Today, Mac OS X exceeds Classic views by over 300,000 page views a month.
“The vast majority of commercial developers have responded favorably to Mac OS X, with mainstays such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office taking full advantage of the new operating system capabilities,” Schray said. “Several printer and scanner drivers from manufacturers such as Epson, HP, Canon, Microtek and Lexmark are either available now, or will be by summer. Apple has led the way with new renditions of AppleWorks and the iApps family of consumer applications.”
He added that the shareware community has also answered Apple’s challenge. VersionTracker’s Editor’s Picks for Mac OS X shareware include “Must Haves” DragThing, Fire, LaunchBar, MacJournal and Watson.