Print 63 comment(s) - last by KoolAidMan1.. on Dec 18 at 12:29 PM

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?

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