OS X 'Mountain Lion' unifies software update into Mac App Store

OS X 'Mountain Lion' unifies software update into Mac App Store

Summary: Apple has ditched the traditional 'Software Update' utility in favour of bringing fixes, changes, and updates to the Mac App Store instead.

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Not only has Apple's latest incarnation of OS X --- as it is now known without the Mac prefix, which is reserved for hardware --- unified a series of features from its mobile iOS platform into the desktop and laptop operating system, a few more surprises are still being discovered.

Apple confirmed to ZDNet this evening that it is streamlining third-party additions and software updates along with operating system releases, with updates and fixes, into the Mac App Store.

Where one would normally hit "Software Update" from the Apple logo to update their machine with bug fixes, software updates, and even entire operating systems, the Mac App Store will become the central hub to all necessary updates.

The Mac App Store, introduced when the recently announced operating system's predecessor 'Lion' was first thrust into the media limelight, was reserved for Apple products and third-party developer applications. It was in effect what iTunes was for music, but for applications and games.

Apple's Mac App Store in December last year, just over two months ago, had more than 100 million applications being downloaded from it, all in the space of a year. Without doubt, as ZDNet's Larry Dignan noted, it has emulated the success of the iTunes App Store.

Mac users who have either adjusted from Windows or Linux recently --- like myself --- or experienced users who have been with Apple for years, may be nonplussed by the lack of obvious overall change. There are clear changes and they lurk beneath the surface. But unlike Windows --- perhaps an inappropriate paradigm to compare to --- users can often find themselves worried at the aesthetic change, the feature shifts, or searching for the Menu bar (hint: Vista, Windows 7).

With any luck, Microsoft can take this framework model of application stores and apply it just as successfully as Apple has. This isn't a point of throwing Apple vs. Microsoft into a cage and forced to fight to the death. Ultimately, seeking equality for all users, whether Mac users or Windows users, should benefit from Apple's success. If Microsoft can learn something, it's from its old adversary, Apple.

Also take note that 'Mountain Lion' will be download only through the Mac App Store, something previously seen with ‘Lion’. It’s like a self-eating cake, or a piece of self-unboxing Ikea furniture.

Image source: ZDNet.

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Topics: Linux, Apple, Hardware, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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7 comments
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  • Slow but sure iOS-ification of MacOS.

    Several things worry me. They dropped the "Mac" name. Next, the new security policy that can enforce application execution rules. Apple is playing nice now but they can just flick a switch and disable the "Allow from anywhere" option, this making your MacBook Pro a glorified iPad. Then this move towards the app store being the channel for all software. Maybe it's just me, but things are starting to get a little creepy here.
    kraterz
    • RE: OS X 'Mountain Lion' unifies software update into Mac App Store

      @kraterz

      Ok, let's assume your worst case scenario. Apple completely locks down OS X applications and only allows installation of App Store applications. (With Apple's policy requiring apps to be "sand boxed", this worst case scenario might happen.)

      So .. Ask any iPad owner if they care that the only way to install iPad apps is thru Apple's App Store facility.

      In like manner OS X consumers would not care about their loss of non-App store apps.

      Of course, a small minority of users would not have access to needed applications. Than those users would switch to a different platform.

      Life would go on.
      kenosha77a
    • RE: OS X 'Mountain Lion' unifies software update into Mac App Store

      @kraterz NO PROBLEMMO !!! I'm mac user don't care about that. As long as apps are cheap, usefull, secure, no virus or trojan.
      Voltus
  • RE: OS X 'Mountain Lion' unifies software update into Mac App Store

    I feel the only problem might be the users attention to allowing apps to be installed which may or may not be desired from 1 Apple to another. I have Lion on my laptop but only wish to maintain Snow Leopard on my Mac Mini. Integrating store purchases as updates should still allow users to choose only what they want on each individual computer and not on every software purchase through the store. Would this entail custom update software for every computer, or a 1 time selection roster for applications allowed to be installed by updates? I like many other users may not appreciate "stinker" apps getting through apple update service.
    partman1969@...
    • RE: OS X 'Mountain Lion' unifies software update into Mac App Store

      @partman1969@...
      I understand your concern; I also don't necessarily want all the apps I get on one machine being present on another, such as my laptop.

      OTOH, I love the fact that, having finally chosen to upgrade my desktop to Lion (following recommendation from a friend) I can now [i]also[/i] upgrade my laptop to Lion for [b]free![/b]

      Now that is definitely something that Microsoft could learn from - but I doubt I'll see it in [i]my[/i] lifetime....
      rahbm
  • They need to update the Finder...

    It would be nice if they would add some features from Windows Explorer.
    sjanofsky@...
    • It would be nice if they would add some features from Windows Explorer.

      @sjanofsky@...
      Um, such as? I find Windows Explorer [i]far[/i] more limiting than the Mac Finder; in fact I went so far as to [b]buy[/b] Directory Opus for Windows! I love it and it was definitely worth the money for me.
      rahbm