It's the end of two eras in computing: one is the 32-bit processor architecture giving way to 64-bit devices across the board and across platforms; and the other, the steady march to move away from programs installed locally on your computer, to doing everything in the browser.
BitTorrent Inc.'s decision to effectively discontinue its uTorrent client for “Catalina,” the latest version of Apple's desktop operating system Mac OS, provides yet more proof of the trend.
After nearly 11 years, Mac OS users will no longer be able to install uTorrent – the world's most popular torrent client – on their computers, and will instead have to rely on the program's web version.
But this time, it wasn't some strange and overly restrictive policy imposed by Apple that killed uTorrent for Mac OS users.
Instead, it was uTorrent itself that made the conscious choice not to develop a 64-bit version of the software, fully aware that “Catalina” would be 64-bit only.
This comes at a time when virtually all relevant Linux distributions have also either moved or are moving to 64-bit, ditching 32-bit programs in the process. And this means that uTorrent is focusing on Windows, where the bulk of its millions of users are – and on moving everybody else into the browser.
Given that both Mac OS and Linux, respectively, have only single-digit market share on the desktop, the focus of uTorrent – a proprietary adware client for the peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol – is not surprising.
On the other hand, those running non-Windows operating systems, who want to keep doing their torrenting on their local machines, have other clients to choose from, including the cross-platform, free and open-source Transmission.
As for those moving to the web, BitTorrent Inc. was working to bring the web client's performance up to the desktop standards.
uTorrent Web offers streaming and downloading functionality, and an option to search directly from the web client – which redirects to Google. The app will also automatically open magnet and torrent links in the browser.