Apple’s Mac App Store to open on January 6

Apple’s Mac App Store to open on January 6

Apple has announced that the long awaited Mac App Store will open early in the New Year on Thursday, January 6. It will be distributed to all Snow Leopard users via Apple Software Update.

The App Store is the first of its kind for Macs and Apple claims it will “make discovering, installing and updating Mac apps easier than ever.”

The store will be rolled-out in 90 countries initially and will feature paid and free apps in categories such as Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities. Apple CEO Steve Jobs says he hopes to “revolutionize” Mac applications:

The App Store revolutionized mobile apps. 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 store will work in exactly the same way as the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad stores, allowing users to comment, review, purchase and download apps in just one click and start using them immediately. Updates are apparently delivered directly through the Mac App Store. As regards pricing, Apple says that Mac developers will set the price for their apps, keeping 70 percent of the sales revenue and free apps won’t have to pay for hosting, marketing or credit card fees.

It will be interesting to see how the Mac App Store does. Certainly the prospect of free hosting will attract a lot of developers with popular free apps who don’t have the resources to pay for lots of bandwidth. And a 70% return of revenue to developers with paid apps isn’t bad considering the exposure and reach the Mac App Store will give them. However, developers will surely be subject to much stricter requirements and regulations when it comes to the type of apps they will be offering as we’ve seen with the iPhone Apps store.

Watch this space for a full review on January 6th!

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