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Apple to "Revolutionize" Desktop Apps January 6

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If you enjoy downloading iPhone apps from a proprietary online marketplace, you're about to get a heap of joy on your MacBook.

After being previewed in October's Back to the Mac event, the Mac App Store will finally go live next year, January 6. Debuting in 90 countries, the shop will have a similar look and feel to the mobile App Store designed for iOS devices. However, unlike the mobile apps, the availability of desktop apps won't be limited to the Mac App Store.

Apps both paid and free can be downloaded from the online marketplace. Categories will include Education, Games, Productivity, Utilities, etc. The Mac App Store will handle each app's updated version and can be applied on all of a user's personal Macs. And like the mobile App Store, revenue sharing with developers will remain as 70% to the designers and 30% to Apple.

Apple released a press release today touting the Mac App Store's capabilities, however not everyone shares the excitement.

Macworld wrote of developers' fear of a locked down ecosystem for Mac apps. Some designers worry that the Mac App Store may become the only place to download and install Apple programs -- similar to the mobile App Store. Also, there can be a rehash of arbitrary restrictions that have hampered the original App Store experience for both users and developers.

Still, others are excited for the exposure that smaller third-party apps wouldn't normally get. And once assembled within a centralized location, more apps will become easily searchable with better user feedback and reviews.

With its pros and cons, the Mac App Store will definitely alter how many download their desktop programs. Let's hope Apple keeps a close eye on the service to avoid some of the issues plaguing the mobile App Store.

Here's the press release Apple released today:

CUPERTINO, California -- December 16, 2010 -- Apple® today announced that the Mac® App Storeâ„  will open for business on Thursday, January 6. By bringing the revolutionary App Store experience to Mac OS® X, the Mac App Store makes discovering, installing and updating Mac apps easier than ever. The Mac App Store will be available in 90 countries at launch and will feature paid and free apps in categories like Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities.

"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."

The Mac App Store lets you browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what's hot, view staff favorites, search categories and read customer ratings and reviews. Like on iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad™, you can purchase, download and install apps in just one click and start using them immediately. Purchased apps can run on all of your personal Macs and updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store so it's easy to keep all of your apps up to date. The Mac App Store is available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard® users as a free download through Software Update.

Mac developers set the price for their apps, keep 70 percent of the sales revenue, are not charged for free apps and do not have to pay hosting, marketing or credit card fees. To find out more about developing for the Mac App Store visit

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.
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