Apple's Mac Store is a Go. And the Mac is a PC

By  |  Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

Apple has announced that its Mac App Store will open for business on January 6th. It’s a close counterpart to the iPhone App Store–easy app discovery, downloads, installs, and uninstalls, and a deal that gives developers 70 percent of the profits. But the dynamics of the business may be quite different given that the Mac Store will be an additional way to acquire apps rather than the only official one. I’m reserving judgement on how big a deal it’ll be. (Actually, I’m not even sure how much I’ll use it, let alone the rest of the world.)

Apple’s announcement about the launch included the following Steve Jobs quote:

The App Store revolutionized mobile apps,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun. We can’t wait to get started on January 6.

This isn’t the first time that Jobs has referred to Macs as PCs. And it doesn’t pay to read too much into canned quotes in press releases. But it’s been my stubborn habit to call Windows-based computers “Windows PCs” for years, based on the principle that Macs are also personal computers. It’s nice to see Apple–a company that has been known to bash PCs–using the same logic. To me, it’s linguistically and technologically appropriate. And who knows–Windows users might be a tiny bit more likely to consider buying an Apple computer if they look at them as an excellent PC rather than a fundamentally different, foreign device.

(I was tempted to end this post by wondering whether Jobs’ reference to PCs was a hint that the company might release an App Store for Windows PCs. But nah, it’s not going to happen…)



6 Comments For This Post

  1. bmovie Says:

    How does Apple's Mac Store differ from all those MacUpdate and VersionTracker sites? I believe these sites charge no commission and developers keep 100% of the profit.
    As to calling a Mac a PC, I prefer not to call it a generic category. Would you call a Mercedes a car? My fear is that the OS will be made available to Windows machines. That would kill Microsoft and Google.

  2. Yacko Says:

    Versiontracker is no more, absorbed by CNet. However, all three, MacUpdate, the defunct Versiontracker and the current cross-platform CNet, are merely program guides and ratings with links to the developer sites. Small developers must still come up with a payment solution to take a credit card. The Apple Store reverses that and will sell working downloads directly with the developer still providing the trial software.

  3. Yacko Says:

    Sorry about that, replying to my own reply. MacUpdate does have a daily special and sometimes a 10 program bundle that are significantly discounted. The developer has to feel the lower pay is worth the extra eyeballs and sign up. In the past it was a one day or a one bundle special, but now it seems to be slightly sticky and can last several days for lower discount. However, the majority of software tracked on the site and desktop application are not part of this sales program, though that could change if MacUpdate tries to become the "unlocked" alternative to the Mac App Store.

  4. g3user1usa48 Says:

    I sure hope this goes well for Apple. I think its a great idea for low-tech consumers and developers. With Apple's current growth and bringing in a lot of switchers from Windows, this should make things so much easier for them finding software. And for long-time users it may spark lots of new software, especially games and utilities. If it works anywhere's as well as the iOS App Store, Apple will have a sweet revenue stream and thousands of new developers looking to make big bucks. I honestly don't see how it could miss.

    If the Mac App Store becomes successful, look for Microsoft to start doing the same thing. They'll say that they had been planning the Windows Desktop App Store all along for the past 30 years and it's just blind luck that Apple got theirs started a bit earlier. Yeah, sure, sure. Haha.

  5. Diether Says:

    Microsoft could not do that for antitrust reasons. The only reason Steve is allowed to do this is because of the low market share of Apple.

  6. eljerry Says:

    Mac OS would never work with Windows PC's because the OS is designed to work with a small and limited amount of hardware. Making the OS install on your standard PC would probably bankrupt Apple because of the amount of R and D required to make the OS compatible with every bit of hardware out there much like windows does and PC users would expect that since they are already acustomed to it. There is a reson why Apple has not ventured into that realm.