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Apple's latest "App Store" will launch in early January

While a handful of "app stores" like Valve's Steam have delivered software to PCs in the past, these stores generally lacked diversity, mostly just offering game downloads.  No PC app store really offered customers the opportunity to buy instantly-downloadable apps of all kinds -- everything from games to productivity software.  That's about to change as Apple is set to introduce the world's first full-featured personal computer App Store on January 6.

Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, fond of bragging about the company he founded, states, "The App Store revolutionized mobile apps.  We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun. We can’t wait to get started on January 6."

The Mac App Store will come to Mac users in the form of a Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) update.

The initial Mac App Store will launch in 90 countries and include familiar categories like Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities.  As with the iPhone/iPad App Stores, Apple will keep a 30 percent cut, handing developers 70 percent of app sales.

Apple's press release even included this nugget: "Apple...recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices."

Apple often describes its products as "magical", but it's hard not to give Apple its dues when it comes to its success in pioneering the mobile App Store concept and its equally pioneering effort to port that success to the PC.

Apple won't be alone in this market for long though -- Google's incoming Netbook/Notebook Chrome OS will feature a "Web Store" filled with internet apps.  While that app store has technically launched, its app catalog at this point is very sparse.

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Success or flop?
By Tony Swash on 12/16/2010 10:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
Will the Mac App Store be a success or flop?

Personally I think it will a big success with radical implications.

What do others think?

RE: Success or flop?
By themaster08 on 12/16/2010 10:31:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well the Software Center has made my experience with Ubuntu far less daunting over the years.....

RE: Success or flop?
By Drag0nFire on 12/16/2010 2:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
And the comparison to Steam is relevant. I've bought more games on Steam in the last 12 months then I have in the previous 4 years before I broke down and installed Steam. It's not that I can't buy games and install them myself. But Steam is just so damn convenient...

RE: Success or flop?
By luseferous on 12/16/2010 10:37:13 AM , Rating: 4
Makes me glad I don't own a Mac. Its bad enough apple telling me what i am allowed to run on my iphone and randomly pulling payed for apps. (with no reason given)

Think I will stick to my pc and the the entire internet as a source of apps not just limit myself to those vetted by Steve and co.

RE: Success or flop?
By mydogfarted on 12/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: Success or flop?
By xti on 12/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Success or flop?
By CU on 12/16/2010 11:26:10 AM , Rating: 5
It isn't now, but give it a few years and it may be. Apple will lock it down as much as they can.

RE: Success or flop?
By zorxd on 12/16/2010 12:18:57 PM , Rating: 5
That was my thought.
And they will say it's for your protection from virus/porn/etc.

RE: Success or flop?
By Da W on 12/16/2010 2:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
With a 30% cut software developper won't allow an apple monopoly to develop.

RE: Success or flop?
By KoolAidMan1 on 12/18/2010 12:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
This post is ridiculous, you honestly think that this is the only way to buy Mac software?

Do you also believe the package manager is the only way to download apps for Ubuntu? How about Steam for games?

Give me a break.

RE: Success or flop?
By amanojaku on 12/16/2010 10:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
PC users have been buying and downloading software from the web for years. This is just Apple hosting the store, where you normally build one yourself or go to a different provider. MS already has a store. It doesn't have that fancy app download integration for Windows, but that's because the last time MS included something in the OS it got sued.

RE: Success or flop?
By superPC on 12/16/2010 11:35:32 AM , Rating: 2
you've got to admit the ability to search and pooled all available apps in one place is convenient. look at MS, it doesn't even have a place where you can easily download some of their free PC software. you have to know them first and deliberately seeking for it online (MS ICE, MS photosynth, and who knows countless other go to waste because no one knew about them). it did a good job with games for windows marketplace in PC (in terms of usability and feature) but it still lacking content. games for windows marketplace should have the ability to pool all windows games from all source like steam, bigfish, popcap, and gameloft. same thing should happened if MS decided to build an online software store. i've wasted 3-4 hours searching and trying out download manager softwares before finding one that suits me. if MS had an app store it can happened in minutes. i just type a keyword and look at user reviews and comment.

one more thing, if MS do build an app store for PC, people should be able to post an app from a website (put it in a separate catagory with try at your own risk tag obviously) so that everything can really be found in that app store.

RE: Success or flop?
By KoolAidMan1 on 12/18/2010 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, the package manager in Ubuntu is awesome, we all know how great Steam is, and how this is coming out for OS X. Very cool. Hopefully the same thing comes for Windows, although I don't expect it to be great if we are using GFW Live vs Steam as a point of reference...

RE: Success or flop?
By mellomonk on 12/16/2010 9:04:30 PM , Rating: 2
It seems the MS is working on a vetted Windows Store that will be a prominent feature of Windows 8.

Between the various App stores, Digital River, Steam, ect. I think the days discs of software being put in cardboard boxes and being shipped all over the country may finally be done. Now if we could drop the media in the next gen of game consoles....

RE: Success or flop?
By plewis00 on 12/16/2010 10:42:13 AM , Rating: 2
It will be pretty successful and probably for the right reasons - the Mac OS platform isn't closed off like the mobile devices so people still have the choice but for the less tech-savvy, they have the option of a simpler method to get Apps. I imagine it will streamline installs as well, so they can literally click-and-run. As we are now even for basic installations, people and clients still struggle to read the information, process it, click 'OK' and leave settings at their default.

I'm certain there will be haters but I can't see being given another choice a bad thing - for the power users, they can do what they were doing before.

RE: Success or flop?
By nafhan on 12/16/2010 10:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think it will do OK, if software selection is good and the store is easy use to use (I'd be very surprised if it wasn't easy to use). However, I think "radical implications" is overstating things a bit.
If I had to guess, it'll be popular for purchasing free and inexpensive apps, and less popular for getting the big ticket software like PS.

RE: Success or flop?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 10:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
it's a mac store designed for mac users, since mac users like "easy" and the mac app store makes installing and downloading safely easy then yes, it will be a success because many mac users will use it. As long as the app store doesn't become the only way to install apps (as it is on official un-jailbroken ipods/ipads/iphones) I'm fine with it.

RE: Success or flop?
By Da W on 12/16/2010 2:28:40 PM , Rating: 1
I find my girlfriend's Macbook harder to use than my windows 7 PC. Mac=easy is so much 1990.

RE: Success or flop?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 3:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
lol, the mac interface is clunky to those of us who are nerds and like things like "inline renaming", copy & pasting of files using right click, active (working, non-static) address bars, the ability to customize the desktop (with more than just a unique wallpaper).

but to the idiot user who doesn't know simple things like what the desktop is, where the start menu is, etc., by limiting the interfaces features and going with a slimmed down gui they've made using a mac fairly "stupid proof". You might not be able to do everything on a mac that you can on a pc but you if you can't work a mac at all you should take a computer class or two.

Personally, being the nerd i am, i find both platforms "easy". To a degree i even find a lot of linux distro's easy.

RE: Success or flop?
By protosv on 12/16/2010 11:03:35 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, I think it will be a success with radical implications. However, I think the "radical implications" part is where you and I will likely interpret things a bit differently.

Most Mac users will enjoy the convenience of being able to go to a single portal to purchase the vast majority of their applications. However, I think this sets a dangerous precedent for private software vendors. Apple clearly has a strong incentive to push developers to sell through their own app store. They'll market these reasons as "higher product visibility, headache-free distribution," etc, but it's really about that 30% cut. They want to be able to charge for a slice of all software that runs on their machines, even if they had no part in developing it.

You would imagine that it's only a short hop skip and a jump until Apple does away with the term "computer program" and everything becomes an "app", in an attempt to bring consumers' perceptions into line with what they already have with the iPhone app store. We're even already seeing premonitions of this with OSX 10.7, which is beginning the "iOSification" of MacOSX. At this point, it almost seems like the "reasonable thing to do" to ban all "non App-Store" applications from running on a mac, just as they already have done with the iPhone. This will be, of course, to ensure that "it just works", and remains "secure". I can imagine that people will have to resort to "jailbreaking" their iMacs to be able to run software from "non App Store-approved" software vendors.

Not to mention that if software vendors are now forced to go through the Mac App Store, they're going to have to raise their prices in order to still meet their own margins, while factoring in an additional 30% cut for Apple now. I can imagine that won't encourage developers to focus on Mac applications. Why pay $149 for an "app" when the PC version of the same exact "program" is $115?

If Apple manages to keep a hands-off policy with regards to which programs are allowed to run on a Mac, or the app store is relegated to "apps" instead of actual programs (something that I think would depend on the first point above) then the app store may very well succeed alongside other software and enhance the Mac user experience. However, if Apple gives in to their desire for ever-increasing control over their products and user experiences, then it could be dangerous for the Mac as a platform.

What do others think?

RE: Success or flop?
By cserwin on 12/16/2010 11:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
For most developers, the 30% cut to Apple will be significantly less than the negotiated discounts they need to pay to box retailers - if they can even get their software stocked. Or the cost of maintaining their own online store and promotion. I'm guessing 70% is generous, especially for someone developing something new.

The key for Apple will be if they can become a trusted source. No malware, no trojans. Fair user reviews.

One nice thing about the app store is that there are not 20 different background applications managing updates. Like being pecked by a freaking pack of magpies every time you restart your windws machine.... I'm guessing the PC/MAC app stores can centralize the distribution of updates, which would be good imo.

RE: Success or flop?
By Tony Swash on 12/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Success or flop?
By Iaiken on 12/16/2010 12:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
zFinal prediction. Microsoft copies the App Store for Windows in about 18 months time probably when Windows 8 is released (i.e around the time that Microsoft's revenues start to decline).

MS already tried this for office etc... they got sued and had to drop the idea.

RE: Success or flop?
By mellomonk on 12/16/2010 9:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
By eliminating the software publisher and the App Store paying for the bandwidth for the downloads, I would think the developers stand a good chance of actually making more money. The issue with software stores is 'software discovery'. Try picking out an individual app from the multitude of similar choices in the iOS store. It can be a nightmare.

There is no way that any of these software stores are going to have a non-vetted section of their store, or links to 'everything'. Each store owner is going to want to carefully curate it's wares. I would bet that in time there will be several software 'stores' each with it's own style or audience.

RE: Success or flop?
By Motoman on 12/16/2010 12:41:38 PM , Rating: 2
It will be a success, with one not-so-radical implication: people are lazy and stupid.

RE: Success or flop?
By muhahaaha on 12/17/2010 3:19:54 AM , Rating: 2
You're entitled to your opinion, but at the end of the day, you are a dork.

I've done an nslookup of your IP Address, and curiously, it comes from Cupertino, CA.

Is that you Steve?

PC App Store?
By PrinceGaz on 12/16/2010 10:58:47 AM , Rating: 2
It is not a PC App Store, it is a Mac App Store.
The Mac App Store will come to Mac users in the form of a Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) update

If it were a PC App Store, it would be accessible from Windows at the very least (as that is what over 90% of PCs run).

When a Mac is running Windows, then I consider it to be a PC, but as this App Store can only be accessed from OS X, it is clearly not a PC App Store.

RE: PC App Store?
By Anoxanmore on 12/16/2010 11:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
PC != Windows.

PC = Personal Computer.

Windows = Windows

Apple = OSX/Windows


RE: PC App Store?
By tdawg on 12/16/2010 11:14:59 AM , Rating: 2
Apple's worked very hard to erase these truths and make the association that PC = Windows and Mac = Mac OS. So in today's day and age, it should be more than acceptable to refer to PC vs Mac as Windows OS vs Max OS.

Because of Apple's marketing campaign, I agree that this should read that this is a Mac App Store and not a PC App Store, as it has nothing to do with Windows-based machines.

RE: PC App Store?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 11:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
so if pc = windows
and mac = osx
then what = linux?

I didn't know we defined "types" of computers based on their os.

a Personal Computer is a Personal Computer and i won't let apples poo marketing rewrite the dictionary.

A mac is simply a type of pc. Windows has no name for the machines that run it, nor does any other os vendor. in-fact apple is the ONLY pc vendor i can think of with the ego to do that now that i think about it. :)

RE: PC App Store?
By walk2k on 12/16/2010 12:27:32 PM , Rating: 3

"PC" = IBM PC and compatibles

little "pc" = personal computer maybe, but nobody uses that term any more.. we have "desktops, notebooks, laptops, netbooks and maybe "iphones" lol nobody calls them "personal computers" since about 1989....

RE: PC App Store?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 12:42:34 PM , Rating: 1
I'm going to say the same thing i've been saying:

A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator. Many people consider a PC to be a Windows system, but this is not true and PC's include any type of computer that is used in a "personal" manner. This is in contrast to the batch processing or time-sharing models which allowed large expensive mainframe systems to be used by many people, usually at the same time, or large data processing systems which required a full-time staff to operate efficiently. It is also in contrast with the more recent trend of controlling software availability through an intervening third party such as the Apple App Store.[1][2]

A personal computer may be a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet PC, or a handheld PC (also called a palmtop). The most common microprocessors in personal computers are x86-compatible CPUs. Software applications for personal computers include word processing, spreadsheets, databases, Web browsers and e-mail clients, games, and myriad personal productivity and special-purpose software applications. Modern personal computers often have connections to the Internet, allowing access to the World Wide Web and a wide range of other resources.

personal computer

a microcomputer designed for individual use, as by a person in an office or at home or school, for such applications as word processing, data management, financial analysis, or computer games. Abbreviation: PC

Nuff said.

RE: PC App Store?
By Anoxanmore on 12/16/2010 12:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
Oh Snap!

RE: PC App Store?
By walk2k on 12/16/2010 3:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
better tell Apple that because according to them PC = windows PC and Mac = Mac

RE: PC App Store?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 3:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's not my fault they're wrong.

That's just apples marketing trying to make itself look special by differentiating itself from other pc's. as i've said before, if they are right then what = linux system? Is a pc no longer a pc because you install linux? a pc is a system with a cpu, motherboard, video processor, ram, cdrom, harddisks, a monitor and an operating system. a mac is a system with a cpu, motherboard, video processor, ram, cdrom, harddisks. Tell me, what's the difference...

RE: PC App Store?
By Iaiken on 12/16/2010 3:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
One is an excellent source or rainbows, sparkles, unicorns and lies of perfection...

RE: PC App Store?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 3:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, i knew apple's reality distortion fields was powerful but my GOD! The force is strong with this one! :-)

RE: PC App Store?
By Anoxanmore on 12/16/2010 4:16:06 PM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm my young apparentice, you shall master it soon enough. :)

RE: PC App Store?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 4:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
I know, i was with 'em on the sarcasm. I probably should have been more clear that my post was to laugh with him about the guy i originally replied too. complicated eh? :-)

RE: PC App Store?
By Iaiken on 12/16/2010 11:39:08 AM , Rating: 2
While it is mostly just semantics at this point, he does make a valid point.

The Apple marketing machine has worked very hard and for a very long time to assert:

PC = Windows
Windows = Bad
Mac = Rainbows, unicorns and all that good stuff.

That said, as soon as Apple moved over to the same Intel processors that power PCs, they became PCs. The only difference is that Apple deliberately imposed limitations at the MCU level to prevent OSX from being installed on non-apple hardware. Any commercial attempts to circumvent those arbitrary restrictions have been met with lawsuits; most likely because it would dispel the "PC's kill unicorns" stigma that they've created.

RE: PC App Store?
By Luticus on 12/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: PC App Store?
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 4:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well..., I thought it was pretty funny.

RE: PC App Store?
By Flunk on 12/16/2010 12:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
That's because Apple is still using the terminologies from Mac vs PC fight in the 80s (where it really was the IBM "PC"). PC just means personal computer these days and a Mac is a personal computer.

RE: PC App Store?
By rcc on 12/16/2010 5:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
Walk in to any computer store in the world and tell them "I'm looking to buy a PC" and see what they show you.

While I agree that both Mac and, er, PCs are personal computers, the industry just assumes that the abbreviation PC means a Windows computer. Although you can play the PC with Linux card, then you are getting in to the whole, does chili have beans in it problem? Ask any New Mexico resident, chili does not have beans. You don't really have a PC with Linux, you have a "Linux machine".

Despite the common theme in this thread, I think the Windows world did more to promote the PC = Windows computer than did the Apple world. They just picked it up and ran with it for advertising.

RE: PC App Store?
By lolmuly on 12/16/2010 11:18:41 AM , Rating: 1
Apple = OSX/Windows

i disagree... the driver's they provide hardly work at all. makes windows 7 crash all of the time, constant blue screens... a proper machine running windows 7 is a dream...

RE: PC App Store?
By superPC on 12/16/2010 11:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
i've never had a blue screens on my windows 7. software crashed to desktop once in a blue moon, but never caused a BSOD in my PC. if you often experience BSOD on windows 7 you should check your hardware. maybe something is loose or some component periodically stopped working.

RE: PC App Store?
By Iaiken on 12/16/2010 12:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
He's talking about using Boot Camp on a Mac. I've had similar experiences with Win7 on my wife's iMac.

Thankfully she's smart enough to have finally seen through the gears of the Apple propaganda and come to the realization that I have fewer problems with with my custom built Win7 machine than she has with that POS iMac.

Yellowing Screen? Check!
DVD-Rom jammed? Check!
OSX bug caused the page file eat up her entire HDD? Check!

The first one required a complete replacement unit. The second one required a trip to the Apple store. The last problem I was able to fix after hours of research. Amazingly, I wasn't able to find any info on the problem in the Apple support forums, but hundreds of occurrences out in the wilds of the internet. Hrmm...

RE: PC App Store?
By Iaiken on 12/16/2010 12:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah!

Just the other night it shut itself of and went into a boot loop that wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't make that f***ing annoying "bong" sound every time.

App store for MAC == iStupid
By muhahaaha on 12/16/2010 3:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
Bringing an app-store concept to the PC (yes, MACs are just PCs now, running a derivative of UNIX) is a foolish move to lock in users and profit.

Mac users may buy into the idea because, honestly, they aren't that smart. They buy an overpriced POS from the JobsMeister, and hand him their wallet.

Tech savvy PC users will never go for this because they can already download a huge mass of applications, many of which are free/open-source.

And we have Steam. Sorry Apple, but Valve beat you to the punch years ago with Steam, and your "innovative" attempt to copy them is just for personal profit. Valve was nice enough to start offering really good games on the MAC (when almost no one else bothered), and now you're going to try and give them the shaft. FU.

RE: App store for MAC == iStupid
By mellomonk on 12/16/2010 9:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, I am probably responding to flame bait but,

Steam is very good at what they do. Apple is glad to have them on it's platform. But they are hardly a full featured 'software store' full of a variety of apps and applications.

And do you really think that Mac users haven't been downloading applications from a variety of sources off the internet for a decade or more? When is the last time you saw Mac software in a box in a regular store?

So you really think the average well healed college educated Mac User is really that stupid? And you really think the average PC users is 'tech savy' despite the fact that the WindowsPC is the majority platform, and the vast majority of people are dumb as a post when it comes to tech in general? Really? I think you need to meet a few more Mac Users and not get your opinions from the knuckledraggers who frequent this forum and spend their non-Xbox time railing against hardware they cannot afford.

Better to remain silent and risk being thought stupid rather then post and remove all doubt.

RE: App store for MAC == iStupid
By muhahaaha on 12/17/2010 3:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
Mac users are wannabe PC users without the brains required to operate a true PC.

I kind of pity them.

While MAC is a nice platform, it's a far cry from what Windows offers.

As a software developer for a major Heath Care industry, I would say that only a fool would choose a MAC. It's a good toyputer for the technically challenged, I'll admit.

RE: App store for MAC == iStupid
By Luticus on 12/17/2010 11:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
lol, i couldn't have said that better myself. as someone who uses all the various platforms every day both professionally and leasurely i can honestly say my preferences go windows 7 then debian, then mint, then mandriva, then fadora, then (k)ubuntu, then other linux distros i've missed then all the way at the bottom... osx.

RE: App store for MAC == iStupid
By muhahaaha on 12/18/2010 1:59:54 AM , Rating: 2
Amen brother.

The media thinks they know different though. Steve sends them a bunch of free iCrap and they have an orgasm and rave about the company known best for yellow screens, antenna problems, Foxconn employees jumping to their deaths, etc. Any other company would be made bankrupt by upset users.

Apple's abandoning of XServe pretty much proves they aren't concerned with supporting business. They'd rather garnish 30% off the top of what everyone else develops on their CrAppStore. Why innovate when you can just plunder from those who innovate? Typical JobsCentric magical reality distortion thinking.

I had an Apple IIe when I was like 10 years old, and it sucked compared to my older TI-99/4A. My later purchase of a Commodore Amiga was a total MAC killer (color graphics, etc.), but sadly, Commodore couldn't get their act together, and floundered. MAC was still black and white, and primitive.

I have no love for Apple, obviously. They are great at making expensive toys and have the best marketing department on the planet. I'll give them that.

RE: App store for MAC == iStupid
By KoolAidMan1 on 12/18/2010 12:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, so much nerdrage from this neckbeard, I can almost see your hands vibrate with your anger.

By kyleb2112 on 12/16/2010 10:47:07 AM , Rating: 3
Finally a place to buy software--on the INTERNET of all places.

RE: Genius
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 11:08:19 AM , Rating: 2
This is just apple trying to get a slice of everyone's pie.

30% -_-

RE: Genius
By TEAMSWITCHER on 12/16/2010 1:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
Or it is a new way to monetize OS development. Microsoft has to charge for its OS. With the App Store for Mac, the Mac OS X could become free. As the OS is quickly maturing into a commodity product, this may be a more lucrative model.

RE: Genius
By Luticus on 12/16/2010 2:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't much matter if osx is free or not as osx comes standard on every mac computer and can only be (legally) installed on mac computers. The only reason it would matter if osx was "free" is if you are upgrading at which point you've already paid a hefty premium for the computer anyway.

Besides that apple is the company with ridiculous markup on all it's products. do you really think it'll kill a revenue source when people already pay the premium for it anyway?

By raabscuttle on 12/16/2010 11:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
Good to see Apple jump on the old Lindows band wagon. way to be 10 years behind the times.

RE: didn't others have "PC app stores" um... long ago?
By walk2k on 12/16/2010 12:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
yeah it's called "the internet"

so what is going to be in the PC store anyway??

1. Itunes
2. Quicktime
3. and ?????

By ClownPuncher on 12/16/2010 1:19:06 PM , Rating: 3
Fart apps.

amazon, newegg
By rudy on 12/16/2010 3:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
Digital river, Don't these places allow you to purchase a wide variety of software and instantly download it?

RE: amazon, newegg
By Master Kenobi on 12/16/2010 4:46:50 PM , Rating: 2

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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