AOL shuts down Switched, DownloadSquad

News staff and editors may be leaving other AOL-owned websites, namely the much-reported-about Engadget resignations, but some websites aren't seeing their staff quit—they're essentially all being let go. DownloadSquad and Switched have announced today that they are being closed down.

The merger between AOL and HuffPo called for Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, to become editor-in-chief of more than 55 websites. She was then asked by AOL to shut down at least 30 sites or consolidate ones that were stronger than the rest as she deemed fit. Last week AOL-HuffPo fired all freelancers at their blogs and finance websites. DownloadSquad and Switched are just the latest in those websites that are getting the pink slip.

Editor of DownloadSqaud Sebastian Anthony tweeted last night: "In a world where software is moving towards ubiquity, AOL-HuffPo has seen fit to shut down the best software blog on the Web. Insane." But it wasn't for another 12 hours until an update on each respective website made it official. In a post, on both DownloadSquad and Switched, Editor-in-chief Thomas Houston said that he's "been thrilled to work at these two sites" for the last four years but that they "are unfortunately being closed."

Both websites will continue to be operational and functional "through search" but new posts will cease.

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31 Comments

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For those that care...here is an article that slate wrote on this and other HuffPo issues: http://www.slate.com/id/2291042/

It's a good read and maybe it change your outlook. We in the US really are a bunch of people that like to sue anyone and everyone when we don't get our way and get upset.

BlendedFrog said,
For those that care...here is an article that slate wrote on this and other HuffPo issues: http://www.slate.com/id/2291042/

It's a good read and maybe it change your outlook. We in the US really are a bunch of people that like to sue anyone and everyone when we don't get our way and get upset.


You're not wrong. The whole "ouch, I stubbed by toe! who can I sue?" culture did originate over there after all. People taking absolutely zero personal responsibility for their actions. It's why insurance premiums are through the roof.

They're cool, but they are *not the best software blog on the web. They aren't even much of a software blog anymore. Truthfully, with so much overlap with Engadget, and mediocre content, I can kinda see how this happened (I'm talking about DownloadSquad, I don't remember what Switched is)

I have DownloadSquad on my RSS feeds and I saw the topic: Farewell, Internet earlier today, but I thought they were referring to another IPocolypse scenario. I didn't bother to click through and read the actual post. Sad news indeed. I enjoyed reading DownloadSquad.

Co_Co said,
never heard of 'em...im sure other sites will do it better otherwise they wouldnt close it down

Your logic is seriously flawed. This isn't about quality, and never was. It's about money.

Ghil said,

Your logic is seriously flawed. This isn't about quality, and never was. It's about money.

i said better, money making is part of being a better business. you don't get the money if you don't get the hits, you don't get the hits if you don't produce something of value or interest. having a site open that might be bleeding money and no one knows it exists doesn't seem like a good idea.

if they want they can continue to produce their quality via blogspot. no one is saying out can't have a place to voice your opinion just don't expect someone to pay you for it when others do it BETTER

Co_Co said,

i said better, money making is part of being a better business. you don't get the money if you don't get the hits, you don't get the hits if you don't produce something of value or interest. having a site open that might be bleeding money and no one knows it exists doesn't seem like a good idea.

if they want they can continue to produce their quality via blogspot. no one is saying out can't have a place to voice your opinion just don't expect someone to pay you for it when others do it BETTER


By your own admission you know absolutely nothing about these two sites as you've "never heard of 'em". How then can you claim that others "do it BETTER"?

But still, Co_Co hasn't heard of them, so they must not be any good... right?!?!

Davo said,

Me too LOL

Too bad AIM is the best IM ever. MSN is unreliable and buggy, yahoo nobody uses in NA really, and there arent any others popular enough to mention.

Beyon_Godlike said,

Too bad AIM is the best IM ever. MSN is unreliable and buggy, yahoo nobody uses in NA really, and there arent any others popular enough to mention.

Whatever became of Google Talk? I remember trying that when it first came out.

TRC said,

Whatever became of Google Talk? I remember trying that when it first came out.

I believe it's been integrated into GMail now... I very rarely use GMail as I'm not a fan, but you can IM people from the contacts window on the left...

Beyon_Godlike said,

Too bad AIM is the best IM ever. MSN is unreliable and buggy, yahoo nobody uses in NA really, and there arent any others popular enough to mention.

I hope you're joking. AIM has generally been the worst in my experience. AIM can be very slow and buggy, the features they offer are absolutely crud compared to WLM and Yahoo!. Also, Windows Live & Yahoo! contacts can communicate w/ each other fine in their respective clients. Trying to uninstall AIM, and I still have an "AOL Uninstaller" program that I can't remove through Programs & Features. WLM and Y! both offer better stuff, have many users, etc.

AIM used to be popular when I was in middle school, but Facebook has surpassed it at this point, even though Facebook chat is even spottier than all of them combined.

Beyon_Godlike said,

Too bad AIM is the best IM ever. MSN is unreliable and buggy, yahoo nobody uses in NA really, and there arent any others popular enough to mention.

I hope you're joking. AIM has generally been the worst in my experience. AIM can be very slow and buggy, the features they offer are absolutely crud compared to WLM and Yahoo!. Also, Windows Live & Yahoo! contacts can communicate w/ each other fine in their respective clients. Trying to uninstall AIM, and I still have an "AOL Uninstaller" program that I can't remove through Programs & Features. WLM and Y! both offer better stuff, have many users, etc.

AIM used to be popular when I was in middle school, but Facebook has surpassed it at this point, even though Facebook chat is even spottier than all of them combined.

Beyon_Godlike said,
Too bad AIM is the best IM ever.
AIM is so ugly, with its custom default theme instead of native Windows. AIM is trying to stay non-maximized on just the side of the screen. You can't maximize the main window; you can only resize. It has (had?) a stupid feature where it can to embed itself on the side of the screen and make all other windows smaller.

AIM lacks features. Old versions, you couldn't rename contacts and couldn't store a lot of contact information about a contact (email, name, address, phone, notes, etc). Newer version, you can, but you are limited to several contact information fields. WLM has several pages of fields you can fill out, and you could rename your nickname or rename your contacts' nicknames. Awesome.

For WLM, there are a few great add-ons and patchers: Mess Patch (deprecated), A-Patch, and Messenger Plus!, where you can modify how the windows look and even write your own scripts.
For AIM, you just have Ad Hack, LOL.

Edited by XP1, Apr 13 2011, 5:53am :

XP1 said,
AIM is so ugly, with its custom default theme instead of native Windows. AIM is trying to stay non-maximized on just the side of the screen. You can't maximize the main window; you can only resize. It has (had?) a stupid feature where it can to embed itself on the side of the screen and make all other windows smaller.

The version I'm using can be maximized, and also uses native Windows. Not sure what you're referring to on the last one, though.

Quikboy said,

I hope you're joking. AIM has generally been the worst in my experience. AIM can be very slow and buggy, the features they offer are absolutely crud compared to WLM and Yahoo!. Also, Windows Live & Yahoo! contacts can communicate w/ each other fine in their respective clients. Trying to uninstall AIM, and I still have an "AOL Uninstaller" program that I can't remove through Programs & Features. WLM and Y! both offer better stuff, have many users, etc.

AIM used to be popular when I was in middle school, but Facebook has surpassed it at this point, even though Facebook chat is even spottier than all of them combined.


No love for Skype