Mac App Store poised to disrupt the software universe on Jan. 6

Mac App Store

The Mac App Store, which sells Mac software under the Apple App Store model, is expected to upend the software development industry. Image: CC Steve Rhodes/Flickr

Apple’s groundbreaking Mac App Store will open for business on Jan. 6, the company announced Thursday. The Mac App Store, patterned after the Apple App Store, will allow Mac users to buy, download and install software just like iPhone users do with mobile apps. Analysts say the Mac App Store will disrupt the software market and a rogue Apple infiltrator is already planning to pirate the concept.

How the Mac App Store works

The Mac App Store is Apple’s attempt to duplicate its runaway success with the Apple App Store. The Mac App Store will work exactly the same way — except with fully formed Mac software downloaded and installed with one click. Updates will be automatic through Mac OS X. Analysts are saying that the Mac App Store could quickly render traditional software distribution channels obsolete. It’s a revolutionary development that is a win for consumers, developers and especially Apple. The big losers in the Mac App Store equation are retailers, both on the street and online, who sell Apple software.

Frictionless commerce

When the Mac App Store goes online, it’s hard to imagine Mac users will get their Mac software any other way. The “frictionless” commerce the Mac App Store enables, with software that downloads, installs and updates automatically, will also be a major boost to Apple’s Mac platform. The playing field among corporate development teams and independent developers will be leveled. New ideas for the Mac platform will emerge and become lucrative faster. Apple will take a 30 percent cut of sales at the Mac App Store, just like it does with the Apple App Store. But developers will be able to set their own prices.

An Apple parasite’s imitation

Some developers are worried that the Mac App Store will quickly eclipse other software distribution channels. They fret that developers not willing to conform to Apple app standards will miss out on sales. The threat is real enough that Cyndia, an app store for jailbroken iPhones, is planning to capitalize on that fear. Cyndia offers about 30,000 jailbroken iPhone apps, including apps rejected by Apple. At a recent developers conference a the figure behind Cyndia known as “Saurik” said Cyndia would be a more attractive platform for developers because it won’t have Apple’s restrictions and it will give them a bigger cut.



PC World


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