Apple Launches Apps Store for Macintosh Computers

This seems like a pretty significant development for Mac users …

Tech giant to offer more than 1,000 applications for desktops and laptops in 90 countries

Apple today launched its long-awaited applications store for Macintosh computers, bringing the iPhone and iPad software phenomenon to desktops and laptops.

The technology giant hopes to “revolutionise” the way people use software and applications on a desktop computer, in the same way the company’s iPhone app store set the standard for smartphones.

More than 1,000 apps, in categories such as education, games, design and lifestyle, are now available on Mac computers in 90 countries. The iPhone app store, which launched in 2008 with 800 applications, today boasts more than 300,000.

Apple hopes its Mac app store will simplify the process of installing software, such as computer games and word processing tools, and trigger a move away from downloads and physical CDs.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, announced the scheme at its Back to the Mac event in October last year. In a veiled encroachment on Microsoft’s territory Jobs said: “The App Store revolutionised 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.”

The company also hopes its Mac app store will be seen as a lucrative market by software developers, who retain a 70% slice of sales made through Apple. But the company will also sell its own software in the store, including the iLife and Aperture programmes.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, predicted that the company’s latest invention will eventually be replicated by fellow computer manufacturers, including Microsoft. Rival technology companies, such as Google and Nokia, have opened mobile app stores akin to Apple’s.

Schiller said the success of the iPhone app store “absolutely exceeded our expectations”, but declined to make any predictions for the Mac store.

Apple sold 3.89m Mac computers in the final quarter of 2010, a record number and one that broke the record set in the previous quarter. The company’s profits for the quarter leapt by 70% to $4.31bn and its revenues by 66% to $20.34bn.

Users have to download the Mac OS X v10.6.6 software update to get the Mac app store. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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