Print 39 comment(s) - last by Wolfpup.. on Jul 22 at 11:43 AM

Many of Apple's boxed software products are seeing their final days  (Source:
With software being less profitable than gadgets like the iPhone or iPad, Apple didn't want boxed software to take up shelf space in its stores anymore

Apple announced today that it will discontinue selling many boxed software products, and instead, encourage use of the Mac App Store for software purchases like Jam Packs for GarageBand and Aperture 3 according to Apple Insider.

The Mac App Store launched January 6, 2011, and was set to eventually replace the need for boxed software in retail stores. With software being less profitable than gadgets like the iPhone or iPad, Apple didn't want boxed software to take up shelf space in its stores anymore.

Now, Apple has sent a notification to resellers letting them know that boxed software is seeing its final days. While Apple isn't putting an end to all boxed software, its getting rid of a large amount. For instance, the number of boxed games available at its stores has dwindled from 32 to eight. These games are still available, but in the Mac App Store only.

Even devices like scanners and printers are getting the boot from store shelves, but unlike certain boxed software, the printers and scanners will still be available in-store if a customer requests them.

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Boxed Software?
By dcollins on 7/20/2011 2:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
Who buys software in a box anymore anyways?

RE: Boxed Software?
By SkullOne on 7/20/2011 2:24:19 PM , Rating: 4
Good point. The only reason this worries me is because it's Apple. How long till you can only get software for a Mac through their store?

RE: Boxed Software?
By amanojaku on 7/20/2011 2:27:55 PM , Rating: 5
Why would you be worried? The solution is not to buy a Mac. Or, at least don't run the Mac OS.

RE: Boxed Software?
By bigboxes on 7/20/2011 3:02:12 PM , Rating: 1
Why are you so defensive? Can anyone make a comment without someone saying, "Don't use it then." If you can only purchase software through Apple (even if it is 3rd party) then you are eliminating competition. Apple gets their cut and keeps pricing artificially high. Apple doesn't allow others to sell hardware to run MacOS and that keeps hardware prices artificially high. Of course one could use something else, but if Microsoft controlled hardware/software/os like Apple does there would be cries for all sorts of anti-trust enforcement/legislation.

RE: Boxed Software?
By amanojaku on 7/20/2011 3:13:29 PM , Rating: 3
You missed my point. I'm not being defensive, certainly not of APPLE. Apple is not interested in compromise, and the law can only do so much. If Apple consumers want to be treated like sh1t then let them enjoy themselves. The best way for me to deal with Apple, or any company that treats consumers and partners like crap, is to not give it my money. Developers should go to other platforms and stores, while consumers should buy hardware from different manufacturers and run a different OS.

RE: Boxed Software?
By bigboxes on 7/21/2011 2:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry about that. It's easy to miss intent on the internet. I really dislike closed systems. I want to do what I want to do with my equipment and have a hard time understanding how "it just works" trumps "have it your way!"

RE: Boxed Software?
By JakLee on 7/20/2011 4:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
Difference is, Microsoft has more than 3% of the total installation base....

RE: Boxed Software?
By mellomonk on 7/20/2011 8:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
Difference is, Microsoft has more than 3% of the total installation base....

As does Apple.

And the above link is over a year old. Installed base has grown since then. You would think the 'power user' anti-Apple ranting members of this forum would at least understand how to use Google.

RE: Boxed Software?
By themaster08 on 7/21/2011 2:28:15 AM , Rating: 2

Too bad their global market share is less than half of what it is in the U.S.

However, if you include iOS, Apple's global OS market share stands at 8%.

RE: Boxed Software?
By Samus on 7/21/2011 12:52:15 AM , Rating: 2
Because it's so easy to say "don't use it" when only 10 percent of the market "uses it." These are products that price themselves into the 'privilaged' bracket just to give you bragging rights. Anybody can own a PC or an Android phone, but to own a Mac or an iPhone you need money and an expensive phone contract with Top 1 or Top 2 carrier.

It makes me think of Audi drivers. They could get a VW Golf or Jetta for half the price, which is practically the same car with better fuel economy, lower cost of ownership and overall just a better buy, or you can pay more just to say I paid more and got slightly better leather and AWD I don't need.

RE: Boxed Software?
By Tony Swash on 7/21/2011 4:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
. Apple gets their cut and keeps pricing artificially high.

The problem with that hypothesis is that one of the most pround effects of Apple' app store, both the iOS and new Mac app store, was to reduce prices.

Every piece of software I have ever seen on the Mac App store is cheaper than via any other distribution system.

RE: Boxed Software?
By Flunk on 7/20/2011 3:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft will be launching a competitive service with Windows 8.

RE: Boxed Software?
By themaster08 on 7/21/2011 2:33:57 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, and my guess is that in terms of app count, it will surpass the OS X App Store within a matter of months. Especially with the deep Xbox Live and Kinect integration I've heard about.

RE: Boxed Software?
By Tony Swash on 7/21/2011 12:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, and my guess is that in terms of app count, it will surpass the OS X App Store within a matter of months. Especially with the deep Xbox Live and Kinect integration I've heard about.

Even if that happens the app store model causes potential problems for Microsoft because the app store model seems to lead to a very significant drop in average software prices. Microsoft is a software company so the app store price model is a bit of threat. I thought this one of the more amusing and presumably intentional effects of the way that Apple designed the app store model.

RE: Boxed Software?
By rameshms on 7/20/2011 4:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
Boxed software would still be preferred in countries where folks have shell out $$ for downloads or have really slow internet access speed...

Now don't ask me if they have MACs or run OSX.. That's a different story :)

RE: Boxed Software?
By mcnabney on 7/21/2011 10:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
A friend of mine came over last night and spent four hours sponging off of my broadband connection.


Because he only uses wireless and the OSX Lion and the corresponding developer kit of iOS was MASSIVE. It would take a long time over an aircard and in the future cost a fair amount of money too.

RE: Boxed Software?
By TakinYourPoints on 7/20/2011 2:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. All my games are bought on Steam or Battlenet and my applications are bought and downloaded straight from the developer websites. I haven't bought a boxed application since Windows 7 and Final Cut Studio 3 several years ago, and that thing is on 6 DVDs. As for operating systems, I want an option to just download the next version of Windows and throw it on a USB key. Optical media is on the way out.

RE: Boxed Software?
By Solandri on 7/20/2011 4:26:17 PM , Rating: 3
Games I can understand. You usually finish the game and don't touch it again after a few years. But business software is another matter. If it ain't broke, don't (spend any money to) fix it.

Productivity software OTOH is frequently used for years if not decades (no point upgrading if there are no new features you need). Many of the small businesses I consult for are using software from the early 200s, and occasionally from the 1990s. A lot of my work is actually getting that software installed and working on newer hardware when they upgrade (because some new software they bought requires better hardware).

A boxed CD and install key is really handy in those cases. Microsoft (if you're a member of Technet) does a pretty good job of keeping downloadable versions of its old software online (I can even grab Windows 3.1 if I want). But they're the exception. Some of the software I'm asked to install/transfer was made by companies which aren't even around anymore.

You get this sort of disparity of opinions when you have computer people (where something is outdated in 1.5 years), mixing with business people (where something 20+ years old is perfectly acceptable if it still works). At one print shop, there's an ancient film printer hooked up to a 68xxx Mac (yes, a Motorola CPU) running software which came on 3.5" floppies. The printer still works, suits their volume just fine, and a modern replacement would I'm told cost $100k. So the best solution for them is to buy old Macs and parts off eBay to keep their ancient system running.

RE: Boxed Software?
By TakinYourPoints on 7/20/2011 7:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
Fortunately those hard copies still exist for businesses still dealing with old hardware. Moving forward for when they buy new hardware, optical is on the way out.

RE: Boxed Software?
By mforce on 7/20/2011 5:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
I've been getting my software strictly online for quite some time now.
For Linux I have the repository and for Windows and Mac there's always the ... pira... erm I mean online software shops.

RE: Boxed Software?
By TakinYourPoints on 7/20/2011 6:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
The repository in Linux is a thing of beauty. I'm glad that Windows will eventually be getting something like that and the OS X app store. I'm fine buying software from websites, but having a centralized place like that or Steam to download and patch my software is pretty great.

RE: Boxed Software?
By Taft12 on 7/21/2011 1:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
This will be responsible for cleaning up A LOT of the Windows malware problem. Bring it on already!

RE: Boxed Software?
By TakinYourPoints on 7/21/2011 3:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. :) It works great on other services like the iOS App Store and Steam, so I'm all for it.

RE: Boxed Software?
By wallijonn on 7/21/2011 10:28:52 AM , Rating: 2
Optical media is on the way out.

Isn't that why Blu-Ray was seen as the next local step?

RE: Boxed Software?
By cmdrdredd on 7/20/2011 10:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
I do because I want the physical disks on hand.

RE: Boxed Software?
By Wolfpup on 7/22/2011 11:43:09 AM , Rating: 2
People who like owning software?

So long as they price it right, I approve
By quiksilvr on 7/20/2011 2:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
If there's anything online app stores has done is that it really cleaned up the stores. No more boxes filling up shelves with 10 pages of tiny text sprawled all over.

By superstition on 7/20/2011 2:08:56 PM , Rating: 4
This is likely just one more step toward subscription computing.

RE: So long as they price it right, I approve
By amanojaku on 7/20/2011 2:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
I never understood why most things in the last 5-10 years come in big boxes with lots of paper. It would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly to provide a CD with printable PDFs or something. The stores can keep a printed copy on hand for those who want to read about the products and didn't think to check online. Most people end up talking to a salesperson, anyway. If you can find one who looks halfway intelligent.

I think it was Amazon (maybe Newegg?) that started a campaign to convince manufacturers to reduce the amount of packaging material used. B&M's should be all over that.

RE: So long as they price it right, I approve
By KITH on 7/20/2011 2:28:02 PM , Rating: 4
Software packaging has gotten a lot smaller. You used to get a full manual/book in the box now at best you get an installation guide.

By Manch on 7/20/2011 7:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer the paper manuals. I prefer to have the reference material in front of me vs sharing a screen with the PDF. Where I work, an e-reader isnt allowed tho that would be nice for our tech manuals. Plus it gives me something to read when I'm dropping bombs over Baghdad.

By Taft12 on 7/21/2011 1:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
It was Wal-mart and to a lesser extent Best Buy that were responsible for this.

They took the shrink-wrap software companies to task (and got their way of course) because the shelf space is so valuable. I remember how refreshing the small box that Warcraft III came in was.

Disks please
By Motoman on 7/20/2011 7:34:40 PM , Rating: 2 try reinstalling WoW plus all expansions from scratch on a fresh machine as pure downloads on a 3Mb internet line, and you'll quickly see why I own all of them on disk...

RE: Disks please
By cmdrdredd on 7/20/2011 10:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
Good point...Further if you consider that some games are what like 10GB installed or more. And your ISP is going to limit your bandwidth usage, that eats up a lot of your allotment.

RE: Disks please
By Motoman on 7/21/2011 3:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
I love how retards rated my comment down - stupid people honestly believe everyone in the world can get on FiOS.

RE: Disks please
By Belard on 7/21/2011 8:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
And when you have millions of people DL update patches or doing re-installs, that speed goes even lower.

I've seen an ex-GF's PC on my 25Mb line spend about 5hours doing a clean install of WOW... like, wouldn't a DVD disc be faster?

As LONG as you are ALLOWED to burn your own copy / save the installer onto a Flash-drive, then I'm okay with it.

The latest ZoneAlarm is now a DL app. A 200~300K download which may then spend 20~200 minutes downloading the 80mb program. UGH!

Try that on a network of a dozen PCs running off a T1? Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

I like a box for some products.....
By jabber on 7/22/2011 9:40:00 AM , Rating: 3
....especially if you are dealing with a company like Adobe.

I like as much proof of ownership as possible in that case.

By jobeard on 7/20/2011 7:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
Biggest issue to me is versioning . Online purchasing needs to retain prior versions (at least a few) and when the big boys like Apple/MS go online for anything, it is only for the releases which have current support. There is a lot of software that while backlevel, runs perfectly well enough and moving forward becomes insane with unneeded features or changes to a GUI.

By kangkang on 7/20/11, Rating: 0
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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