about the pending Mac cancellation of
Timeslips, a time billing software package particularly popular in legal offices. Today we have word from the product manager of the software application, who contacted MacCentral to explain his company’s decision.
A letter recently mailed out to Timeslips for Macintosh users instructs them that after the end of August, they will no longer be able to buy the software or support packages for the software. Best U.S. Holdings Inc., the software’s publisher, will continue to honor Mac support plans through their expiration date. Users are encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of the Windows product, instead.
It’s the end of a decade and a half long run for Timeslips’ Mac version. Timeslips for Macintosh has languished at version 6 for several years, while its Windows counterpart has been continuously updated, most recently to version 11.
With increasing marketshare, a host of exciting new hardware, and the buzz around Mac OS X, many companies are showing renewed interest in the Mac platform. Timeslips product manager Mike Savory explained that many of those factors actually worked against a future Mac version of Timeslips.
“The increasing popularity of Mac OS X meant that we’d have to create a native Mac OS X version or a version that at least achieved compatibility with OS X,” said Savory. “If we were to produce an upgrade, we’d also have to achieve feature parity with the Windows application. This would require nothing short of a total rewrite of the product.”
The decision wasn’t made lightly, said Savory, who told MacCentral that his company looked at several possible options to continue Timeslips Mac development and support, including outsourcing the development of a new version to experienced Mac software developers. Ultimately, it came down to dollars and cents. Savory said that less than five percent of the product’s active user base are Mac users, and around two percent of the total user base utilizes Macs. “This decision came about after years of decreasing interest from Mac users,” he noted. “A very small number of Mac users use Timeslips now.”
Savory said that the decision to discontinue Timeslips Mac support was made “more in the interest” of Windows users, since that’s the majority of the company’s user population. Savory added that the company’s decision to offer Mac Timeslips users a migration path to the Windows product was done because the company believes that many Mac offices also use Windows machines that would be more appropriate target for the product.
“There’s still a lot of room in our Windows line,” said Savory. “It’s important for us to stay focused in order to produce a high-quality product.”
But where one door closes, another door often opens. Yesterday popular Mac-friendly accounting software publisher MYOB announced
a special deal
for Timeslips users to give their AccountEdge product a try. AccountEdge even runs natively in OS X.