The Mac App Store is a concept that I’m fully behind. Digital distribution is the way forward for practically everything. It just makes sense from a price and convenience standpoint. Having all apps in one place for an entire operating system isn’t a new concept for desktop computing as far as games are concerned, with services like Steam leading that evolution. For regular computing apps however, it’s a different story entirely. You have been able to buy apps online for a long time, but only directly from the developer.
The App Store model simplifies everything, creates an arena where pricing will become competitive and therefore cheaper for consumers, and because of the prominence of the App Store within Mac OS, sales will likely go up for software due to ease of discovery.
App updates will be handled within the App Store itself, and I’m assuming that you’ll get a number notification of available updates on the dock icon in a similar way to how it’s handled on the iDevices. This just takes Apple’s philosophy of giving users powerful tools, but in a way that anyone can understand and make full use of.
The final big advantage of an App Store for desktop computers is that you can buy individual elements of software packages for a reduced price if you don’t want to buy the entire suite. For example, you can buy the individual components of iLife 11 for £8.99 each. Since the only one I have any real interest in upgrading from my previous version of iLife is iPhoto, it would be great for me to get those improvements for a much cheaper price than the boxed version which is over 4 times the price.
Aperture, Apple’s professional aimed software which is a step up from iPhoto with advanced functions, is also available on the store for a dramatically reduced price from the boxed version. As someone who is starting to get into more serious amateur photography, this may prove useful in the near future. Providing my 2006 MacBook can run the application, especially when dealing with RAW files. I may have to upgrade sometime soon if it can’t. Those new MacBook Air models look pretty well priced and great technology for me to take advantage of.
In general, the Mac App store will surely be a great success for Apple. Probably not on the massive scale of the App Store for mobile devices, but a success nonetheless and a great step forward for desktop computing.