According to "inside sources" reporting to Appletell, the Mac App Store may be opening as early as December 13th. Appletell claims that Apple has told developers to have their Mac App Store software ready for launch by next Monday.
Though the stated opening of the Mac App Store was sometime in January, sources say that pressure to open the store before the holidays may be pushing the launch earlier. With a second beta of Mac OS X 10.6.6 being released to developers as well, the two may coincide.
As Apple explains:
"The Mac App Store is just like the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. So it's as easy to find and download Mac apps as it is to add your favorite magazine to iPad or a new game to iPod touch. You can browse Mac apps by category, such as games, productivity, music, and more. Or do a quick search for something specific. Read developer descriptions and user reviews. Flip through screenshots. When you find an app you like, click to buy it."
By streamlining the way Mac users buy and install their applications and games, Apple is creating an ecosystem that makes it easier for users to install Apps, thereby eliminating many of the issue we often find with installation of new software.
The Mac App Store should also provide an easier way for developers to stay in contact with their customers, provide support, get feedback, and create much-needed buzz. Just like your iOS device, you'll be able to keep all your Apps up-to-date, which should also eliminate many of the Mac OS X update issues with Apps that many developers and users face.
Only time will tell if the Mac App Store will release earlier than January, but I for one am excited either way. The easier it is to get great Apps on the Mac, the better the user (and developer) experience will be.
Will the Mac App Store make a big impact on the way Mac users get their applications? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!