General discussion

The Mac App Store is the perfect clay for pundits to mould

into whatever shape they desire. Choose your narrative first and make it all fit.

Depending on who you listen to, the sky is either falling and computing as we know it is coming to a dark end whereby we will all be slaves in Steve Job's fascist state or this is a wonderful opportunity for small developers to increase their exposure and market share and to make computing a better experience for non-geeks.

And then there is reality which is always much more complicated than any of the scenarios pundits spin. But complexity and contradiction doesn't make for good think pieces does it?

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It's about time

And this should be how iOS works. An apple app store that doesn't prevent you from installing apps off a web page or having different app stores. Lion is you see, still an open system and works much like Android does.
Anyway, I think a mac app store is long over due. Macs have been missing out on the party of apps the iPhone has been getting. And I think the only reason for that is it lacks an easy to use way to get apps that are at a low price.

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Funny

I find it hilarious that anyone believes for a second that Apple isn't planning to lock non-marketplace apps out of the Mac. It's only a matter of time before the marketplace is the only place to buy/install apps, and users will need to "jailbreak" their computers to install non-approved apps.

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What???

That's not happening. First of all, users and developers wouldn't stand for it.
Second of all, Steve Jobs is on the record saying OS X will stay around as the truck, for the professionals and geeks. How can it serve those people if it's as closed as iOS?

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Incorrect

1. Users and developers stand for it already, on iOS. Why would this be different? Apple users will do what they are told.

2. Jobs said it? Then it must be true! He would never lie. Never. He certainly wouldn't say something like "Apple invented Webkit" or "There will never be an iPod Video" or "Apple is not planning a tablet" or "Apple is not interested in the cell phone market". He's a paragon of virtue.

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Why would this be different?

Well, a couple of reasons:

1. Apple is not running a religion, they are running a business(a fact that may be hard for open source true believers to understand. If you value ideological purity above all else then I guess its natural to assume that everyone around them must be doing the same thing). At the end of the day, Apple?s business tactics must serve their bottom line (not the other way around). Apple may have a product design philosophy that helps them achieve their business goals, but if it comes down to a choice between philosophy and money, money will always win (bringing back buttons on Shuffle, etc). Throwing away giant sections of the professional market by forcing all software to be sold through the app store is not in the financial best interest of the company. Professional software vendors like Autodesk, Adobe, Ableton, Wolfram, etc are hardly going to let Apple take a 30% cut of software they sell for thousands of dollars. There is no high end professional software market for iOS. There may be one someday as different device sizes proliferate and Apple may re-evaluate its position as a result. But for now, iOS is primarily to serve consumers.

2. OSX is a workhorse that has to satisfy a variety of markets both technical and non-technical (graphics professionals, architects, musicians, scientists, educators, students, moms and grandfathers). It has to be many things to many people. Some of those people would probably love for an even simpler computing experience (moms and grandfathers). Not making an easy, simplified appl purchasing and installing experience for these people is tantamount to leaving money on the table. It?s also leaving money on the table to not make a way for small developers to put their software in front of an unprecedented number of eyeballs. iOS is much more focused. Ease of use is paramount. And Apple is still growing a market (the app store) that didn?t even exist 30 months ago so they probably aren?t don;t have too much time to worry about about growing a professional software market just yet. Again this may change one day as smartphones mature and form mobile OS?s come in a variety of form factors, but for now this is the experience Apple is selling.

The fact that you think Apple users will ?do as they are told? shows that you have disdain for people who choose differently than you. That is too bad. There is plenty of room in the marketplace for different approaches to computing.

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Uhh

1. No they do not, they are the pickest most complaining consumers you will find, who often make a big deal out of things as small as the change of location of the close and minimise button on iTunes being inconsistent with Apples own HIG rules. People will complain to Apple and loudly, mac users tend to be fussy perfectionists who are fast to complain.
2. He was communicating his vision for the future of the platform, it seems unlikely he'd changed his mind.

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Oh god don;t get me started on the new iTunes :-P

Those vertical red green and yellow buttons are driving me crazy! And the new monochromatic look to all the icons makes everything look the same so navigation becomes more difficult. Color coding is your friend, Steve.

It could be that the app store winds up being a big bust or a niche market for silly games. It may wind up like spaces... something Apple makes a big deal about but which almost nobody you know actually uses.

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