Did Apple just let slip that it has plans to expand its Mac App Store beyond the Mac OS?
Apple just announced that it had seen more than 100 million downloads from the Mac App Store in under a year. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, called it the "largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world."
"Largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world."
"... PC software store ..."
Could Apple expand its horizons and bring a PC App Store to Windows?
Why not. I can already buy music and movies from Apple on my Windows PCs, so why can't I buy software from Apple to run on my Windows systems?
What would this app store sell? Windows applications, of course. There couldn't be a verification process like Apple has for iOS and Mac apps, but who cares? What I want is a once-click-shop for Windows applications like I have for Mac and iOS apps. As a Windows user I'm already going to be running antivirus and so on, so hopefully I'm covered for malware and don't need Apple to check for that (although that would be nice). I'm not talking of a walled garden, just another option for digital downloads, but with the convenience that Apple bought to its users.
You know, I wouldn't mind that at all. Over the past year or so I've switched to buying most of my PC games as digital downloads (primarily from Steam). I click a couple of buttons and then wait patiently for the game to download. In no time at all it's there and ready to be played (I like buying a game in the morning so it's got all day to come in ... ohh, the anticipation!). It's quick, easy and painless. If I ever need to download that game later, it's there waiting for me, no questions asked. The licensing model, while DRM-encumbered, is quite painless. I've not had any problems.
I've also used the Mac App Store a few times and I have to admit that I like it. It takes everything I like about the App Store model (one click, backups, multiple device licensing) and brings it to the Mac. And since it works on the Mac, why wouldn't it work for Windows systems?
If Apple offered Windows software for download with similar terms, I'd certainly be interested (more so if iTunes wasn't involved). The days of having to keep CDs and DVDs and making sure you don't lose a 25-digit license key are on the way out. Digital is the way forward.
So did Apple just let slip that it has plans to expand its Mac App Store beyond the Mac OS? Probably not. This is just a 'Monday morning thinking aloud' post. But the fact that I'd be interested in buying Windows software from Apple just goes to show how much work there is for companies to do when it comes to digital software distribution.
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