Thoughts on the 10.7 App Store

Oct 20 2010 Published by under General, Technology

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Today Apple announced OS X 10.7, aka “Lion”. One line reaction: I’m really glad I switched back to Windows when I did.

The most troubling aspect of the whole announcement was the unveiling of the OS X App store. Why would this be troubling, you ask? It’s just a way to buy apps, right? No big deal. Perhaps not, but here’s where I see this going:

1. Apple will make 30% of every sale of every app that is sold through the app store now, just as they do with the iOS app store. Wow. I mean seriously, considering this thing will almost certainly take off, Apple just increased their potential earnings by … er… a lot.

2. Developers who want to sell apps in the OS X app store will need to join the OS X developer program, which will cost them another $99 a year – even if they are already part of the iOS developer program. This is not speculation – you can go to the Apple developer site and pay right now to add the OS X developer program to your existing iOS developer program.

3. I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the OS X app store will be curated in very much the same way at the existing iOS app store. There may be slightly different guidelines but I’m betting that by and large it’s going to be essentially the same thing.

So far, so good. Despite the fact that Apple will make several billion more dollars on this whole scheme, there’s nothing blatantly evil about it on the surface.

However, we are then in a world where there are two kinds of apps – App Store Apps and Non-App Store Apps. Which do you think will be pushed harder by Apple? The App Store Apps of course! I don’t think Apple would be stupid enough to come out and say that all apps have to go through the App Store to be installed on Lion. But, they will be pushed. They will be promoted. There will be lists of the top selling apps, and app reviews, and staff picks, and what’s hot, etc. etc. As a developer, the pull will be to release your app in the app store, where more people can see and buy it.

I predict Non-App Store Apps will slowly, but surely become second class citizens.

The App Store is originally due to be released in 90 days. I’m assuming that’s before 10.7 is released. As such, it seems it will be largely an add on to the existing OS. But I predict the App Store will be integrated much more deeply into 10.7 itself. This brings up the question of tooling and APIs. Because there are now two types of apps, there needs to be ways of building two types of apps. App Store Apps will need to be built against certain libraries and have access to certain APIs, so that they can be downloaded and installed, do all the shut down serialization and full screen stuff, etc. Non-App Store Apps will not need access to that stuff, so will be built differently. Again, for 10.6, that’s one thing, but as 10.7 comes out, with new core OS features, one can guess that App Store Apps just might gain more access to more of these new features than Non-App Store Apps. This is just speculation, but I’ll put it out there and if I’m wrong you can come back next year and point and laugh at me.

If you follow this path long enough, the end view would be that Non-App Store Apps are marginalized, crowded out, and eventually just don’t exist. All apps for OS will have to be installed via the store. OK, that’s an obvious slippery slope argument. But I guarantee that if you could look inside the mind of Steve Jobs, you would see that scenario as his personal Holy Grail. Or think of it this way: the bigger the ratio of App Store Apps to Non-App Store Apps, the more successful the venture will be seen. Ultimate success = 100% App Store Apps, 0 Non.

As I said back in April when I switched over to a PC, I had become disillusioned with Apple and not happy with the general direction they were heading in, namely, the control-freak attitude over developers and consumers. I see this as the next step in that very same direction, and am very happy that I switched when I did.

There’s the boiling frog parable, which I find very applicable here:

If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

- Daniel Quinn, The Story of B (more on that here)

You’re smart kids, you’ll figure out who the frog is and who is boiling it. Me, I felt the heat and jumped out of the water.

Anyway, just my thoughts. You can call me a hater, but I’m really not. In fact, I’ll most likely pay my $99 and write some App Store Apps. I actually like coding in Objective-C. OS X in general is a really great operating system. And Mac hardware beats pretty much anything else out there hands down. Apple does a LOT right. Which is why they are so successful. But I think the current trend in controlling app distribution is very bad.

Another question I have is about iAds. I was debating about this with someone on Twitter. I said something like be prepared for iAds in your desktop apps. Others doubted this would happen. But I assume that you will be able to distribute free apps as well as paid apps, and I assume there will be in app purchases just like iOS. So people will create free apps and likely put ads in them. Apple will either forbid this practice, or more likely, want to get in on the action, like they did on iOS. I don’t see why they wouldn’t allow iAds in apps. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing even. As a developer, it’s another opportunity to get remunerated for what I make.

So, yeah, lots of speculation and unsupported predictions here. I look forward to re-reading this in a year or so and seeing how it all turned out. :)

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53 responses so far

  • David Reynolds says:

    I didn’t see anything in the presentation that indicated that App Store Apps were different from non-App Store Apps; except that you bought and installed them from the App store. And it looked like Launch Pad/Mission Control supported Apps in general (and they both looked great.) No doubt there will be details forthcoming.

    (I’m a lot more concerned about the trend towards full screen apps on the desktop. This often leads to poor OS citizenship on the part of developers. The fact that full screen and windowed apps are treated differently by the OS is both reassuring and worrisome. Devils in the details…)

    The 70/30 split seems pretty normal for source to customer distribution, in fact I’ve seen _much_ worse. And the totally automated install looks fantastic from both a user and a developer point of view. It wasn’t clear to me if the App Store app was built into iTunes or a separate app (Steve may have said, but I had to take a phone call during that part of the presentation.) I see no reason why third parties couldn’t set up competing stores, or even cross platform stores. More power to them.

    Apple, at least since the second coming, has _always_ had a hand in, competing with and strong arming its developers and their apps. Usually with much superior products and customer service (though I can think of a few exceptions.) I know several Apple dealers, and former Apple Dealers, who were less than thrilled by the Apple Stores. But I would have a hard time arguing that the world is a worse off place because of them. The same with the various iApps.

  • David Reynolds says:

    In the previous post I meant to write “poor UI citizenship” in the second paragraph.

  • Matt says:

    I’m with you and I can see the whole thing panning out the way you describe. Apple is about simplicity and they are gearing for the non-power-user. What would be better than iOS+AppStore on a desktop? Moms everywhere would love that computer and Jobs we be in full control. In contrast, PCs would be for “experts” and hard to use and configure. iOS is the reinvention of the computer for laymen. I’ve never owned a Mac but I have an iPhone. The iPad launch really made it clear that it’s all about control and taking a cut of the profit from developers. If I ever thought about switching to Mac, that died early this year.

  • I think the theory that Apple wants to eventually eliminate non app store apps for Mac is obvious. Not far-fetched at all. It IS what they are doing, and it WILL happen. Question is, if you go through the app store for Mac apps, are you still able to sell outside of the store? Probably not. win-win for Apple. But they sure are good at making it look like a good thing for developers / consumers. Evil deception!

  • Eric Dolecki says:

    I don’t think the apps themselves will call anything other than standard APIs. Maybe 10.7 will come with a simple fullscreen call that’s ignore for 10.7.

    My only concern with the whole thing is that I didn’t see anything in regards to free apps, nor did I see anything in regards to trial apps. Other than that I think it’s a pretty interesting idea. It will open up a lot more development because it will be much easier to monetize applications for small shops and single app developers.

    “Developers, developers, developers”

  • Matthew Fabb says:

    I definitely think the majority average users would probably like a locked down App store, where they can feel safe about downloading and installing apps. They could make this a selling point and a lot of people who think computers are too complicated will go for it. So while there might be some backlash from more geekier users and from software companies, from a business perspective I think it makes sense for Apple. Which is why I think agree with you that Apple will likely take this route.

    That said, I imagine that developers could get a somewhat unlocked version of the OS in order to install and test apps that they are working on. However, I imagine this won’t be something you can buy in the store, but require a membership from the Mac app developer program.

  • keith says:

    Matthew, yeah, I was thinking about that as well. As much as it horrifies me, and should horrify most of the people I know, I think it would actually be fantastic for the average consumer. It’s sad to think that computers need to be dumbed down to that degree, but it seems to be a fact.

    My other question is for larger, mainstream apps. Think of Adobe, but avoid thinking about the bad blood between Apple and Adobe. Should Apple get 30% of Adobe’s gross on every sale of a CS5 app? Ridiculous. It’s one thing to say that when you sell a 99 cent app that Apple takes 30 cents. But when you are talking about a $200 software package, does Apple really deserve $60 of that sale? No way! Even something like a mainstream game that might sell for $40-50. Are game companies going to shell out $12-15 of that to Apple? I hope not. But I fear that one way or another they will be pressured into it.

  • Bjorn says:

    Nasty,

    I wonder what this means for updates. Hopefully they have more sense than require you to download the full CS5 every time theres a minor update.

    • Eric Dolecki says:

      Why in the world would Adobe deliver CS5 through the Mac App Store? You would still get it how you get it now. Adobe won’t go through it. Ther is no pressure for anyone to do it, save a competitive edge or not needing to worry about distribution and payments.

      • keith says:

        Of course they would not go through the app store, as long as they have a choice. There is no pressure for anyone to do it. Yet.

        • Bjorn says:

          Why wouldn’t they?
          Refuse an extra retail outlet?

          Anyway the CS5 suggestion was just an example of a large application that has regular updates.

          • Jon H says:

            They wouldn’t because they couldn’t use their own licensing. Adobe would have to use the same licensing system as every other App Store app. No site licensing, no flexlm licensing, nothing.

  • While I’m definitely worried at this trend, if you take a look at the preliminary application requirements for the mac app store, they are incredibly strict. M-Rated games are out. Any extensive modifications to the OS, like tabs for finder, are out. Anything that needs to ask for an admin password to install (which encompasses an enormous range of tasks that can no longer be accomplished, like driver installation or service installs) is also out. And that’s just the start. I think we’ll find that as things move forward, either Apple will relax the restrictions, or the app store will be the first place that new users hit when they buy a new mac. It won’t have everything they could want, but it will be the quickest way to get off the ground with the apps you need.

    I’m much more concerned about the dumbing down of the interface. If they do Mission Control and gestures properly, full screen apps won’t be too much of an issue, but Apple keeps ignoring Spaces, update after update. True power-user window management is an absolute requirement for me, and the more and more they simplify things, the closer I get to jumping ship back to Linux. Hopefully they just forgot to address how Mission Control handles Spaces in the short time they had for Lion discussion, but we’ll have to wait and see.

  • Todd Cullen says:

    Just wanted to bring up one point: the simplicity of the AppStore has driven significantly higher rates of purchase by end users. At the end of the day, an app developer cares about how much money he takes home, not the amount given to Apple. If buy selling on the AppStore, he/she increases sales by 2x-3x (or more) Apple’s “control” over the market is kind of a moot point. As far as you can correlate AppStore to Mac AppStore, I think you’ll see that trend continue in a big way.

    The only real concern I have is – will the Mac AppStore be a race to 99 cents like the regular AppStore? Obviously having to cut your prices to become competitive can easily outweigh the increased sales (with the 30% Apple cut).

    *disclosure – I’m a Mac & iPhone owner but wouldn’t label myself a “fanboy”.

    • keith says:

      Todd, that’s my point on the more mainstream apps. For a one-man shop releasing a new app for a few dollars, the large number of sales an app store could offer is well worth Apple’s cut. But for an established large software vendor who is already going to sell x number of copies anyway, forking over 30% of their gross is unacceptable.

      • Todd Cullen says:

        I see this more as a way to promote OSX to the indie shops that made the AppStore big. I haven’t checked out the documentation yet but I’d suspect the frameworks available should make the switch to OSX relatively easy from an iPhone/iPad codebase. My company develops games for the AppStore and we’ll definitely look at some opportunities to port our exisiting catalog over. I’d be shocked if we didn’t find traction in the market. As you said, this works for a smaller dev shop like mine.

        No doubt Adobe would be in trouble if they had to take a 30% haircut on CS6. As Bjorn stated, I doubt Apple will have a proper update mechanism in place to handle large installs like CS5, at least for the first version. So I can’t see Apple cutting off non-AppStore sales immediately. Give them another 12 to 24 months ;)

        • Eric Dolecki says:

          Exactly… this is not the only way someone is going to install applications on a Mac. How do you do it now? That isn’t going to change. The Mac App Store is an avenue that developers will be free to use if they choose to do so. For a lot it will make sense, for others it will be business as usual.

          • You also have to take in the fact that a large portion of the Adobe / pro apps install base is in a company environment – you’re not going to want the IT dept to have to go through the App store each time you need new software.

            Something I think this will help with in general though is piracy. Not of the large scale apps but the ease of picking up a 99c / 59p price point apps.

          • keith says:

            Richard, I wish I could agree with you on the piracy issue. But having had analytics in paid iPhone apps, I saw that 50%+ of the installs were pirated versions. I think an app store actually just makes piracy easier. Since all apps are built in the same way with the same protection, once you’ve cracked one, you’ve got the procedure to crack every other one. Unless Apple puts some better protection in place, it’s going to be the same for the Mac app store.

  • polyGeek says:

    I wonder how Apple will handle developers who try and beat the system by having free/limited versions of their app in the App Store and then make the user come to their website to purchase – without any $ going to Apple – the full version.

    If they don’t allow that then I see the DOJ and EU police knocking on some doors.

  • sascha/hdrs says:

    “And Mac hardware beats pretty much anything else out there hands down.”

    Sorry but I have to disagree on this one! This might have been true once but not anymore. For example my self-built i7 PC runs much smoother than my wife’s MacPro G5. Since months she has trouble with it because it doesn’t start if she leaves the power cord plugged in over night. Obviously some problem with the Mac’s BIOS (forgot what it’s called exactly). We could have it given to Apple support for 1-2 weeks, pay 500$ and hope that it stays fixed after that and then still not being told what the actual problem was.

    • Jon H says:

      Have you tried zapping the PRAM?

      (ie, hold down option-Apple-P-R at boot time, until the boot chime happens a second time.)

      Alternately, there’s a little button inside on the motherboard that you can push that is related to power management issues.

  • sascha/hdrs says:

    Also wondering what comes after Lion. It seems that Lion will be the last OS in the OSX lifespan (also Lion being the king of all ‘cats’). Apple prolly rolls the whole field over again after this and introduces something completely new and incompatible like they did from OS9->10, heh that would be funny.

  • Spiv says:

    I switched to Mac from Windows 4 years ago because I needed to mess around less with the OS to get my things done. It runs smooth, it has all I need and besides some small annoyances, I have been truly happy with the switch. As a webdesigner I could finally focus on my work without being distracted by the OS.

    Now, with the App Store, the reason why I’ll never by an iPhone, becoming fully integrated in OS Lion I also fear for my freedom in use. Not instantly, but in the following years. Apple becomes too extreme in controlling the application market.

    I hated Windows as OS, but I loved the freedom it gave me. I love Mac as OS, but I hate the freedom it takes away from me.

    It’s a hard nut to crack. Maybe it’s time to test Linux as OS?

    S

  • wonderwhy-er says:

    This is scary… One thing that they made future of mobile devices a “appliances” future now they strike back at Macs… Watch in 2011, Mac 2: Appliances strike back…

    But more seriously I am really concerned with where this all is going. After owning iPhone for half a year I become determined that I will not own any Apple device in future because it a call from the past of centralized appliances… Sadly PC ecosystem partially invites that push back :(

    Actually because of my concerns bought one book that explores this question here
    http://www.amazon.com/Future-Internet—How-Stop/dp/0300151241/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1287647646&sr=8-1
    Kind of recommend to read for those who are concerned by it, shows what is good and what is bad in that trajectory, for me personally there is more of bad here :( Basically Apple goes backwards towards ecosystem of leased mainframes with terminals where vendor and their partners were making major decisions about software and hardware… Then mac and pc won… Now Apple is one who brings similar ecosystem back to life with some good things but also with bad things…

  • I used to be a Mac user and have been mixed with the use of 3 operating systems. Windows was generally unstable before the release of Windows 7. Microsoft did a LOT of things right with the release of Windows 7. Take Microsoft Security Essentials for example.

    The race to monetize application development can be seen everywhere. From Social media networks to smartphones and now operating systems. I generally don’t think selling apps through the App Store is an evil scheme. But I definitely DO NOT like where Apple is headed.

    I’ve seen people including myself move from Mac OS to Windows, from Iphone to Android (possibly to Windows Phone 7 soon). Lee Brimelow, for example, also stated some concern over that on his blog. Users, especially power users, like control over their machine and environment and Microsoft is giving them that. Windows is a development heaven and Apple has never tried seriously to address that. And now when they have a widespread app market, they’re limiting the devs on their terms.

    This is where Apple’s cheap behavior becomes apparent. First they restrict flash, google voice apps and stage a drama over it. Some time later when they want to double their revenues over a financial quarter. They ease the restrictions. That’s NAZI behavior to me.

  • oos says:

    Bah.. who cares about apple? You macintosh-people seem to think the apple-world is a lot bigger than it really is. Wake up and smell the reality for once… over 90% runs windows. Let apple experiment in their own little sandbox, don´t give them more attention than they deserve.

  • Emmanuel says:

    So you’re basically suspiscious to what might become a problem in the future?
    Sounds like you’re afraid of change.

    I think the Mac App Store makes the process more democratic. Now, indie developers like myself have a chance to be noticed and be able to actually sell apps.

    The current model, where you have to find stuff yourself, leaves a lot of dirty work to the developers. We have to come up with marketing schemes and do very much foot work instead of focusing on whats really important (good software).

  • Mr.doob says:

    As long as they let me install Ubuntu on their hardware (which is indeed great) they can do whatever they want with their software :P

  • Ugur says:

    Keith, you bring up some interesting points, but i disagree with your main concern, which is that other distribution options would become so much second class citizen state that it would become sorta mandatory to distribute over the mac app store or that it could even happen that Apple enforces people publishing Mac apps generally using the app store.
    There are many ways to distribute apps for pcs (yes, macs, despite the advertising are pcs, too of course).
    This will not change anytime soon, this way Apple will just be another option for content creators to get content out. Apple can´t enforce the new App Store option becoming the only way to release Applications on macs because they would get too much negative impact on other ends due to that.
    So the only reason left for it maybe still becoming the dominant distribution option on macs sometime would be if it has enough benefits for the developers. Hence then it wouldn´t be a bad thing.

    Next up, you talk about a general negative trend with apple in their control manner behaviors.
    Surely notable in the iOS market to some extend, but then, what are the alternative options in the mobile/devices market, and are those better for developers and consumers?
    If one sheep is seen as all black one should look around to see if the others are actually a much different tone.

    You talked about windows phone 7 development recently. I find that interesting and dabbled with XNA stuff myself in the early phase of its release for doing windows/ xbox stuff.
    So let´s see, isn´t developing that way pretty controlled by Microsoft and their ruleset? On xbox indy arcade one can, as long as the content fulfills some basic core rules get it published after passing a peer review, but then on the development side itself
    You´re basically restricted to using the toolset and language options Microsoft allows for that.
    That is way more restrictive than the restrictive ruleset Apple came up with a few months ago which was then also loosened up a lot again afterwards after it caused a lot of discussion.

    So besides the development tools and languages being chosen by the platform holder, what about the distribution options for xbox and windows phone7, can you sell your content in many other ways other than the offficial Microsoft channels?
    Will be interesting to see how that, just like the rules on tools and languages used changes over the next few months if at all, but yeah, looking at it right now its kinda restrictive, too, no?
    (I don´t even want to go deeply into things like like xbox indy section and/or tools and hardware of platforms other than windows pc one can make xna stuff for not being available in anywhere close as many countries as is the case with iOS based stuff).

    Then there are other more platform spanning distribution ways like steam etc, where one is freer to choose the ways to create an app but there, just like with the Microsoft way the distribution platform holder asks for a cut on sales, too, just like with Apple, MS etc.

    I could go on about upsides and downsides of Android or even meta platforms like flash etc etc, but i´m thirsty right now so i´ll rather get me some nice fruit juice and cut it short now with:

    So, what´s the gist of it?
    None is all evil, none is all angels, none is perfect, there´s always room for improvement for all.
    Your view all painting Apple into that dark corner alone doesn´t fit wen looking at the broader picture.

    Apple´s new App distribution way brought to macs will be one of many distribution options for macs and hence they will have to be way more gentle, generous and proactive on all ends to be able to compete nicely with other options to attract developer counts anywhere close to what they have going with the iOS App Store.
    At the same time all the competition will have to push harder to stay attractive, too-
    We win =)

    Or we could see it as being frogs just choosing in which pot of low heat water we want to sit, but i´m in more positive mood today :)

  • Ugur says:

    Ok, back from getting something to drink, had something wrong in this sentence, should be:
    Then there are other more platform spanning distribution ways like steam etc, where one is freer to choose the ways to create an app but there, just like with the Microsoft way the distribution platform holder asks for a cut on sales, too, just like with Apple, Google etc.

  • keith says:

    Maybe I am just being over-dramatic about it. But put it this way, if you WERE going to make a bid to totally control the software on a platform, this is exactly how you’d start. :)

    Anyway, I’m done predictifying. Now I’ll just sit back and watch the show and see how the pieces fall.

    • Jon H says:

      “Maybe I am just being over-dramatic about it. But put it this way, if you WERE going to make a bid to totally control the software on a platform, this is exactly how you’d start. ”

      It would help if you didn’t use the platform to develop software for itself. That’s the case for iOS, and for game consoles, but not for OS X.

      It’s kinda hard to totally lock down a platform when you distribute developer tools on every OS DVD and market it as being UNIX.

      • keith says:

        That’s the way it is today. But that’s going to evolve. Of course, they will continue to provide a way for developers to make software. But I can see it moving more towards a game console like system where most everything runs an iOS like system, and the full OS with dev tools is off in some other sphere, pretty much optimized only for developing iOS apps.

        It will be little by little. They’re not going to do anything to freak anybody out. Every little move will be hailed as brilliant new progress, but eventually it’s going to be a very different scene than today.

  • bionic_mars says:

    Interesting coincident that with Ubuntu 10.10 and their core new feautre Ubuntu software center, Apple decided to introduce their os app shop too.

  • Ugur says:

    “Maybe I am just being over-dramatic about it. But put it this way, if you WERE going to make a bid to totally control the software on a platform, this is exactly how you’d start. :-)

    Haha, yeah, probably, almost at least :)

    The thing is with the iOS devices Apple could do it to some extend because it was how it started out from the getgo.
    Initially third party developers weren´t meant to create full feature (non web) apps for those at all so the developer base saw it as big win to gain access to it, even if with a stringent ruleset.
    When Apple then at a later point tried to make it way more stringent by trying to dictate which tools/languages could be used to create iOS Apps the backlash was huge.
    Why was that?
    Some would say its because of the rules themselves.
    But besides the rules themselves, as i tried to show with the comparison in my previous posts, its interesting to see that for other platforms/ distribution systems there are similar or on some ends even fiercer rules in place and yet there was no such uproar against those.
    Why does that happen even with more reasonable developers?
    Because with Apple and the iOS market rules were changed for the worse for developers drastically after the fact.
    That just doesn´t fly well.
    (To the degree where Apple loosened up a lot again quickly, to the degree where its more open than it was initially.)

    So back to the mac ( =) )
    There is an ecosystem there, the general ruleset of having many options to get content out there on macs and windows pcs is set.

    From the experience on the iOS market we learn: Apple can´t change that =)

    I´m done predicting for a while now, too though, its a bit like discussing whether technological evolution will bring us skynet and help us kill us all faster or it will help improve the way of living and ideally ourselves some more instead.

    It could go either way or one of many others in between, which is always more likely anyway.

    Sitting back and enjoying the show is a good call, or to end by bringing it back to your picture: looking around to see all the pots of water out there and get comfy in the one one likes, jump around as others become more attractive or hey, just start creating our own comfy lake.

    Ok, now i finally managed taking the picture so far that most will think more about pots of water than the original topic :-D

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  • Steve says:

    Will anyone give a toss about jailbreaking OSX 10.8? Or will you all be running Windows 7 and Linux by then?

  • Cricket says:

    Just wanted to point out that game companies who sell through Steam DO give a 30% cut to Valve. My guess is almost any 3rd-party distributor is going to take as much.

    That said, the trend towards a dumbed-down OS is disheartening.

  • Jochem says:

    Thanks for this post. I have my concerns as well about the App Store on OSX, but I don’t want to get to far into the future without knowing all the details. As you said yourself, the argument that App Store apps will take over the Mac environment is a slippery-slope argument. An invalid one. There nothing pointing in that direction, except that on iOS we have a closed environment as you fear. But this has always been on iOS and in such a way it’s a fair deal. You know what you get (apps moderated by Apple).

    Remains the argument that you think the 30% percent cut and the $99 a year is too high. The 30% cut is even ‘evil’, if I understand correctly. This is nonsense, if the App Store on OS X would even be remotely as successful as the one on iOS, most developers would LOVE it. People don’t seem to be attracted to pirating (which is easy on iOS) and it’s a great way to promote your app. 30% for distribution and promotion is a nice figure.

    As I said at the beginning of my comment, I do have concerns about the App Store. I too am afraid of a to rigid checkingsystem by Apple and maybe in the future a closed environment (whether Apple closes it or it will become defacto closed). But there’s nothing pointing in that direction now. I mainly see big advantages for both developers and users and in my opinion it would be stupid to not get this thing running to see what it will bring. We can always switch to Ubuntu ;) .

    • keith says:

      I never said or implied that the 30% cut is evil. In fact, I said for a small shop, the 30% is well worth the increased sales they would see. I’m talking about already well established companies who already sell X number of copies of their apps and are doing well at it. For them, giving away 30% of their gross sales for a potentially increased number of sales is probably not worth it. Hopefully they will continue to have that choice.

      • Jochem says:

        I’m sorry. My bad, I read it incorrectly (and maybe too fast). I’m not native English so a mistake is made easily.

        That doesn’t change the fact that your main argument is a false one. You make some arguments to think about, but there’s nothing right now that points in the direction that we will end up in a closed environment.

        • keith says:

          You can say it’s false. I can say it’s true. It’s all speculation. I don’t think we’ll end up in a totally closed environment, but I think Apple is heading in the direction of a much more closed environment.

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  • [...] is the problem that Bit-101 brings up. The AppStore will be the defacto place to go to get any software. You know Apple will [...]

  • Rob says:

    “So far, so good. Despite the fact that Apple will make several billion more dollars on this whole scheme, there’s nothing blatantly evil about it on the surface.” – tell me whats so evil about making money. They make $100 – is taht evil? They make 10000? now how evil is that? Does evil start at million, billion? Are they literally stopping you on the street and taking your money? Please…

  • JLM says:

    Lets start a rumor…. CS6 on linux, (with the flash properties panel like in CS3) and maybe someone at Adobe will listen and the rumor will stop me having to move back to windows, as I too am slightly concerned with Apple’s moves and the way it is slagging off the flash which puts bread on my table. Does anyone really use wine to run photoshop/flash, I see some posts about it… but is it usable? Quite happy to use html5 but not convinced the tools or the market is ready, and probably still need photoshop atleast so for the moment I am at the mercy of Apple’s strategies, but when I upgrade my mac pro it may well be for a machine without an apple on. Please Adobe release CS5 or 6 for Ubuntu.

  • Jon H says:

    Many of the apps that aren’t in the App Store will be *major* apps, like Adobe Creative Suite, AutoCAD, Matlab, Microsoft Office, VMWare Fusion, and Steam.

    They won’t use the App Store because they aren’t compatible with the terms. Maybe they need to install kexts, as in VMWare. Maybe they want to keep using their own licensing system, as with Adobe, Microsoft, Autodesk, VMWare, and Mathworks. Maybe Autodesk doesn’t want to give Apple 30% of a $4000 app.

    But they’re major apps. They’re widely known, cross-platform players. They aren’t going to suffer by not being in the App Store. And that will help prevent “non-store status” from becoming a significant mark against applications.

    And, of course, people are going to need drivers and updates. And those can’t come through the App Store.

    • keith says:

      Of course, but most consumers aren’t going to want most of those apps anyway. They will be marginalized by smaller apps that perform specific functions. Again, I see an eventual split between an iOS-like OS that only runs app store stuff, and a power user full OS for doing dev and heavy lifting graphics/video stuff, etc.

  • Jesse says:

    Seems to be an overwhelming number of worried people here. My personal feelings are different.

    I feel Apple’s efforts democratize the playing field. It seems to me that the majority of current applications generating huge amounts of cash (and/or fame) are medium to large corporations, bogged down in monetary and structural overhead, which seems wasteful to me.

    I think programming larger, more sophisticated applications and filling most (not all) needs requires 1/10 or 1/100 of the staff and effort of just 15 yrs ago. So “product” creation, can be accomplished more efficiently, with greater variety, more personal expression and greater reward to individuals.

    We can list numerous companies in past 10 years that prove this, and enjoy staying small. In fact, they say it’s key to continued success.

    The side effect is large entities are free, maybe increasingly required, to become faster, smaller and specialize in what they do best – super complex large tasks.

    I’ve only been programming professionally for a couple of years now ( so my experiences are rather limited ), but I am over 30 and I spent a lot of money, time and effort intentionally trying to fill my computer software needs with products produced by individuals. And, even as an indy fanboy it was hard sometimes to trust the programmer, be willing to give them money, find them at all. Then, lots of my favorites stop development because it’s a hobby, and they work for a megacorp to pay the bills.

    What does a large or medium size company have that smaller people don’t as the we move increasingly to pure digital distribution? We don’t need shelves, offices, tons of staff, millions for production costs, millions for distribution. We need a large storefront with many customers, someone to do “some” marketing and some good standards and practices that build instant trust.

    I dunno. I really, really appreciate what they’ve done. My dad is a vey successful corporate structure type guy. He made a lot of really smart moves, created great software in use by fortune 100 companies all over the world, but he also wasn’t around much. And he was stressed and angry, had a stroke, and he’s still working, I think secretly hoping for that big payout.

    Apple’s moves have freed me from that. For the next maybe 10 years, if the world can sit still that long, I’m increasingly free from that type of world of work vs reward, and boss vs employee structure. The world moves so fast these days, we’ll be lucky to feel stable in any system for that amount of time. Of course, it means that more and more people will have to have basic business chops, self determination, follow through, etc just to survive.

    I see how that can be scary, but it’s a much better game to play, i think.

  • [...] o wiele więcej o wczorajszych myśli, i dotarło do mnie, ja może się myśląc o tym wszystkim źle. Byłem w komputerach od ok. 1986 [...]

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