Sites to Follow for Discount OS X Software

March 11, 2009

in applications,Macintosh

by Dee-Ann LeBlanc

There are three major sites that OS X users in the know keep a close eye on: MacHeist, MacUpdate Promo, and MacZOT. These three sites offer discounts on software written by independent developers, and can save you a ton of money on a lot of excellent software.

MacHeist has a particularly interesting approach that provides a lot of entertainment. The discounts are centered around an annual Heist that the community needs to solve. Actually solving the Heist is drawn out over one or more months, where a series of Missions and nanoMissions appear.



You can watch mission briefings, examine clues, and talk to the community in the MacHeist forums and on the MacHeist wiki. As you follow along and solve things yourself–or at least (if you’re lazy) enter the solutions other people figured out–you accumulate points, free software (loot), and discounts toward the ultimate goal: the MacHeist software bundle.

The annual bundle is a collection of 10 or more independent software programs and is offered for a limited time to MacHeist participants. Not only do you save a significant amount of money on the bundle, but there’s also a component of donating to charities. According to MacHeist, in 2007 the bundle had 14 applications worth $500 for $49, with over 44,000 bundles sold and $500,000 raised for charity.

So yeah, MacHeist is a big deal. Check out the site and see if there’s a MacHeist currently active. If so, catch up so you’re ready when the bundle is announced! Only then will anyone know what’s in it. Waiting to see is half the fun.

Not all of the discount sites are so elaborate, however. MacUpdate Promo offers discounts on particular independent software and then a special time-limited “deal of the day” each day. The range of offerings varies widely, so it’s worth signing up for email notifications for when a program you absolutely must have is suddenly the daily deal.

MacZOT is similar to MacUpdate Pro in that it offers discounts during the week that last for 24 hours, and then 48-hour discounts over the weekends.

Between MacHeist, MacUpdate Promo, and MacZOT, you will rarely have to pay full price for independent software. Following these sites also make you aware of a lot of great programs you didn’t know existed!

Dee-Ann LeBlanc ( has been a computer geek since childhood and a computer writer for the last 15 years. Her home is run by Macs, Linux boxes, and a trio of dogs.