Type of site
|software update tracker|
|270,301 (April 2014)|
|Current status||Integrated with Download.com|
VersionTracker did not host the majority of the software listed - it merely linked to them.
Browsing and searching the database was free. Paid users had access to a streamlined download process and the VersionTracker Pro software application. VersionTracker Pro tracked software versions on the user's computer and compared those versions to VersionTracker's database.
It competed against driver/program update sniffers DriverAgent.com, RadarSync, PC Pitstop, UpdateStar, driverguide.com, drivershq.com, SUMo, and to some degree with Download.com, Softpedia, Tucows, and other file download sites, as well as Info-Mac and MacUpdate for Macintosh software updates.
GnomeFiles and Freshmeat are similar sites that cater to the open source and Linux communities. Although most software for these platforms is automatically kept up to date by a package management system these sites can be used to find software not included in the standard repositories.
VersionTracker was created by Kurt Christenson, a Sacramento, CA native in 1995. It started as an Apple-only site but eventually expanded to include software related to the Microsoft Windows and Palm Pilot platforms.
Upon the advent of Mac OS X, the Macintosh section was split into Classic Mac OS and a section devoted to software for the new operating system. As releases of software for the older Mac OS dried up, its section was discontinued.
In August 2007, VersionTracker and sister sites MacFixIt and iPhone Atlas became CNET sites. CNET's Download.com promotes VersionTracker heavily on its website, through ads and following file downloads, although without specifically referencing its ownership of CNET.
On September 7, 2010, VersionTracker became fully integrated into the CNET site structure and has merged with CNET's Download.com service. The software update tracking features are all still available, but the old layout is no longer used. Daily updates for programs are listed, and users can download CNET's TechTracker utility for maintaining their installed software through the Download.com site. The VersionTracker URL is no longer active.
The old VersionTracker Pro utility (TechTracker's predecessor) has been known to have had the lowest rating of 1 star for a long time to this day, even after being heavily promoted by CNET. The new version of the software has been heavily overhauled and integrates with the CNET account and website. There are currently no equivalent star ratings for the new version of the software.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) has various posts from former VersionTracker users who seem to be migrating to MacUpdate rather than using CNET, which no longer includes the wealth of information formerly available at VersionTracker after 15 years of user reviews.
As always-on broadband internet connections became the norm, developers began incorporating update-checking features directly into their applications, reducing the audience for sites like VersionTracker. App stores like the Mac App Store, in which applications can be searched, purchased, and kept up to date, further reduced the audience for VersionTracker, and download sites in general.
- "Versiontracker.com Site Info".
- "VersionTracker joins the CNET family - The VersionTracker Blog, August 29, 2007". VersionTracker. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- CNET TechTracker Staff2 on 2008-06-17 14:45:07.0. "VersionTracker Pro". CNET Downloads. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- Martin, Mel (2010-09-08). "VersionTracker.com officially 'absorbed' by CNET". TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog. Retrieved 2010-10-11.