It’s here ladies and gentlemen! The much awaited Mac App Store opened its doors this morning for download. It brings over 1,000 new applications for Mac users running Snow Leopard version 10.6.6.
Of course, to get the App Store, you had to update your OS, so Mac accommodated by rolling out the update early this morning. Once the update is installed, a new icon will appear in the dock, next to the finder icon. Rather than have users go through iTunes to get their Mac Apps, a new store was built from scratch. It’s a new take on an old way of giving people the latest and greatest according to Apple.
Once users are inside the App Store, it seems pretty similar to iTunes, including using your iTunes account to log in and lists of the top free and paid apps. On the first day, Microsoft and Adobe are noticeably absent from the Mac App Store, and there isn’t much news about when and if they will have a presence here. However, Aperture 3 is available (for $79) as well as some of the components of iLife and iWork – ranging in price from $15 to $20.
Gartner Group analyst Michael Gartenberg said, “The computing universe has evolved in a huge way from the days when, if you wanted software for your computer, you went to Egghead and bought a shinkwrapped box and took it home… Apple discovered that when you create a central place for developers and consumers to come… magical things happen and billions of downloads occur. Applying that to the Mac makes so much sense.”
One person – Avi Greengart, research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis – even declared it “the beginning of the death of packaged software.”
However, I think the beginning of the death of packaged software started with the internet. It’s not really new to be able to instantly download software for your computer. Five years ago I downloaded Norton Antivirus software instantly for my Dell, when I still had that piece of junk. All Apple has done is create a marketplace where vendors can come together and offer users everything in one place.
Do I think people will go gaga over it? Yes. Do I think hard core software like those that Adobe offers will ever be available through the Mac App Store? No. Adobe has strained relations with Apple at best, and those that want to pay upwards of $1,700 for Adobe’s packages are probably looking for something a little more substantial than an instant download. It’s not like its Angry Birds, and if my hard drive hiccups I’m out a couple bucks. No, for the complex and pricy things Adobe offers, I’ll take my old timey CD thank you very much.
Apple has an amazing knack for creating something and then making people understand why they need it. So, I’m sure the Mac App Store will be no different. This time, you just won’t have to wait in line for hours to get it.