This may be the biggest news item of all coming out of Apple’s Back to the Mac event today. We’re soon going to have a Mac App Store. This is something I’ve seen a few people speculate about over recent months, but it did not make it into the hot rumors leading up to the […]
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Apple Announces Mac App Store

MacAppStore

This may be the biggest news item of all coming out of Apple’s Back to the Mac event today. We’re soon going to have a Mac App Store. This is something I’ve seen a few people speculate about over recent months, but it did not make it into the hot rumors leading up to the event.

From what Steve Jobs announced and the brief demo we saw of the upcoming Mac App Store, it looks just about identical to the existing App Store for iOS apps.

Jobs stressed some of the App Store strengths that iOS users and developers have come to appreciate over the last couple of years, which will be coming to the Mac App Store. Strengths like …

— Central place to discover apps

— One-click downloads

— Automatic installation

— Automatic app updates

— Same 70/30 revenue split for developers

I know that some folks will have big concerns about an App Store for Mac. Two that spring to mind right away are the whole ‘closed platform’ argument, and for developers the worry that this may have that ‘race to the bottom’ type effect on prices for Mac software.

I don’t think Apple has said as yet what the stance will be on whether people can continue to install apps from sources other than the App Store. If they allow this, then the closed platform concern should go away, and it seems like it would be much harder for them to not allow it on Mac than it is on their mobile devices. On the mobile devices, we’ve never had the (Apple authorized) ability to just load apps from anywhere; on the desktop we have and it seems a much harder sell to take away that capability.

On the software pricing concern, I hope we would not see so much of that race to the bottom sort of effect. It seems to have occurred less with iPad app pricing (than with iPhone apps) and hopefully ‘apps’ for the Mac will find a good level as well. Presumably, the App Store model should serve developers well overall on the Mac just as it has on iOS.

I feel sure my own spending on applications for the Mac will go up once there’s an App Store. It’s just a superb always-there shop window for apps – a place I’ll look in on often, where finding a bit of software I’m after will be easier, and where I’ll do a lot more impulse buying than I would without the store.

What do you all think? Looking forward to the Mac App Store? Not keen on the idea? Couldn’t care less? (hello Windows users)

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