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Apple discontinues macOS Server after 23 years of service

Apple discontinues macOS Server
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has officially discontinued macOS Server (opens in new tab) as of April 21, a product that has been around in one form or another since 1999.

While Apple Open Directory and Profile Manager have managed to hang around in the product offering, which has also been known as Mac OS X Server and OS X Server, the computing giant has been watering down its potential since 2018.

As Apple has pointed out itself, "the most popular server features - Caching Server, File Sharing Server, and Time Machine Server are bundled with every installation of macOS High Sierra and later, so that even more customers have access to these essential services at no extra cost."

Despite few now seeing any real continued appeal for Apple’s mobile device management or MDM service, and soon to be discontinued Profile Manager, the company says that customers can still get their fix from an app edition that lives on.

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Living on as an app

Indeed, it points out that "existing macOS Server customers can continue to download and use the app with macOS Monterey,". Looking into the future though, it seems likely that the next edition of macOS will see support for the utility disappear altogether.

Mac IT staff will therefore be well advised to start searching for an alternative if they haven't done so already. The news is hardly a revelation, with Apple ditching any serious interest it had in the world of servers following the demise of its Xserve hardware servers back in 2010.

A Mac Mini armed with macOS Server made amends to some degree, though lacked the muscle of the original server setup. However, as time progressed Apple has gradually shoehorned many of the features and functionality into macOS anyway, making a dedicated server app seem all but redundant.

However, anyone wanting to cling on to the appeal of macOS Server can still download it as an app, which will continue to run quite happily on the latest macOS Monterey release.

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Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.

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