Apple has removed the Mac OS X Downloads section from its website after leaving it unattended for more than half a year. The formerly useful pages were dedicated to third-party Mac software, offering information, demos and trial versions. Instead users are now directed to the Mac App Store.
File download site Softpedia noticed the change and observed that after launching the new digital storefront for its own software and third-party Mac apps in early January, Apple had slowly stopped maintaining the Downloads area (located at http://www.apple.com/downloads)
Apple’s Support Downloads area remains, as it still offers up important system and application updates for Apple customers. However developers of third-party software have lost out on a marketing resource. They now need to pay a developer fee (US$99/year) to have their wares sold on Apple’s App Store.
It also seems like a bit of snub for those who aren’t users of Snow Leopard. As you can’t access the App Store on pre-Snow Leopard Macs, you’re going to have to find the developer site to download the software, or browse a resource like Softpedia.