Mac App Store goes live to rain on opening day parade of CES

Mac App store

The Mac App Store revolutionizes software distribution by making software purchase and installation as easy as downloading an iPhone app. Image: CC jimmyroq/Flickr

The Mac App Store opened without the fanfare characteristic of Apple Thursday. The Mac App Store offers about 1,000 Macintosh applications Mac users can instantly purchase and download. The Mac App Store, based on the Apple App Store model, promises to revolutionize software distribution channels.

Mac App Store offers steep discounts

The Mac App Store opened while the tech world was preoccupied with the opening day of the 2011 consumer Electronics Show. Apple doesn’t enforce it’s presence overtly at CES, but when the Mac App Store went live it diverted a lot of attention away from companies like Dell introducing their new gadgets the same day. More than 1,000 free and paid apps are available on the Mac App Store, some steeply discounted compared with other sources of Mac software. For example, Mac software such as iPhoto and iMovie go for $15. The photo editor Aperture is discounted from $199 to $79. Free downloads include a new desktop Twitter app.

Shopping at the Mac App Store

To access the Mac App Store, Mac users simply run Software Update to OS X 10.6.6. After the pinwheel spins for a while, a new icon for the Mac App Store shows up in the Dock. Downloading software couldn’t be easier. Simply establish an account, select the application, click to purchase and a few seconds later, there it is in the Dock. The Mac App Store even automatically updates software already on the hard drive. The Mac App Store only works with OSX Snow Leopard. Because users not running Snow Leopard won’t be able to download the update from the Mac App Store, they must order it for $29 and have it shipped – or take a trip to the local Apple Store.

The future of software distribution

The Apple App Store has uploaded more than 7 billion apps to iPhones. The Mac App Store operates in exactly the same way. It seems a given that the Mac App Store will make other software distribution channels for Macintosh software obsolete virtually overnight. Big software companies such as Adobe and Microsoft will have no choice but to give up a big slice of the pie to Apple, which will take 30 percent of the price for all software sold.


New York Times


PC World

Other recent posts by bryanh