Apple Opens App Store For Macs…. But For Snow Leopard Users Only

Got a Mac? Running Snow Leopard? Great! Now you have an app store of your own. Just like those iPhone users, Apple announced today that they have an app store for Mac owners:

Apple® today announced that the Mac® App Store℠ is now open for business with more than 1,000 free and paid apps. The Mac App Store brings the revolutionary App Store experience to the Mac, so you can find great new apps, buy them using your iTunes® account, download and install them in just one step. The Mac App Store is available for Snow Leopard® users through Software Update as part of Mac OS® X v10.6.6.

So if you’re running Leopard (10.5) on that PowerPC Mac of yours, you’re out of luck. If you’re running Leopard on your Intel Mac, you’re also out of luck. Thus it’s time to upgrade, just like I said previously.

Back to the app store. It seems to have a few tricks to it. For example, it recognizes that I’ve installed iLife on my Mac. Interesting. I wonder what other info it looks for. Privacy policy anyone? Anyone? I also note that there are substantial discounts for Apple apps. For example Aperture is $219 in the Apple Store. It’s $79 on the app store. Other Apple apps have similar discounts. Clearly if you want to buy Apple apps, you should buy them through the app store.  You can also buy the different pieces of iLife and iWork rather than being forced to buy the whole suite. Interesting tactic.

Users aren’t forced to use the app store, but I see this driving a significant amount of Mac users application purchases as it’s a very safe bet that this will be installed on every Mac at the factory. You can also bet that Apple is hoping that their cut of each sale is going to be a huge revenue driver. After all, it’s not about the apps. It’s about the cash.

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