Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

Summary: 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?

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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.

[poll id="722"]

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Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Windows

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46 comments
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  • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

    Could Apple bring a PC Apple Store to Windows?<br><br>Who knows ...

    Update: Who cares ...? --> toddybottom
    Return_of_the_jedi
  • So you admit that Apple copied Valve

    "Over the past year or so Ive switched to buying most of my PC games as digital downloads (primarily from Steam)...It takes everything I like about the App Store model (one click, backups, multiple device licensing) and brings it to the Mac."<br><br>Apple has done nothing new to the model that wasn't done years ago by Valve. In face, Steam brought the model to OS X quite a while ago so Apple is NOT actually the one bringing the App Store model to the Mac. Interesting then that you have the audacity to suggest in another blog that Apple is set to shakeup another industry. Apple often gets far more credit than they deserve. Where is the love for the real pioneers in this industry, the ones that Apple slavishly copied?
    toddybottom
    • "Apple has done nothing new to the model that wasn't done years ago...

      .. Valve."

      You mean, other than making it not suck?
      baggins_z
      • Let's hear it

        @baggins_z
        How does Steam suck?

        Or is this yet another example where you have opened your mouth (or fingers) about yet another topic you know nothing about?
        toddybottom
      • Having to have the stupid client running

        in order to play a game and launch and use games from within their product interface. That sucks.
        baggins_z
      • Ah, so you admit you've never used it

        @baggins_z
        Got it. You most certainly do not have to run applications from the Steam client although yes, it does need to be running.

        Now, if you can figure out how to get the Mac Store code to stop running considering it is embedded deep inside the OS X kernel, then you would have a fair complaint. Since you can't, your complaint regarding Steam also sinks the Mac store although the Mac store is even worse since it is embedded deep in the kernel and that is bad.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

        @baggins_z

        ". . . and launch and use games from within their product interface. That sucks. "

        You can tell it to create desktop shortcuts, which you can then move wherever you please.
        CobraA1
      • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

        @baggins_z steam is "OK" now but god it was horrible for years. Constant offing updates every time I logged into it.
        JeveSobs
  • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

    I think the parser is working overtime. PC, as in, personal computer is in contrast to mobile computing/devices.

    As for Apple selling Windows apps, why would the consumer think that in the vetting process Apple would have clue enough about Windows internals to provide a sufficient sense of security and trust about an app and its publisher? Maybe that's not such a big deal, but the App store is both an online presence and a service that is implemented via the OS X operating system (and is unavailable to those running any OS X prior to one of the point releases of Snow Leopard.) I would say that's a necessity for Apple to have rogue app recall powers.

    Besides, Microsoft will have one and will put hooks into Windows 8 and probably 7, so Apple would lose, in that the added revenue would be dwarfed by the development and store proprietorship costs. Besides, the app store isn't about making money on apps, but making it easier for users to add to their Apple hardware's utility by transacting, via an agent, with developers. It's enriching the ecosystem so as to sell computers.
    DannyO_0x98
    • I agree with you

      @DannyO_0x98
      "PC, as in, personal computer is in contrast to mobile computing/devices."

      Your whole post trumps any naive assumption that "PC" means "Windows". Good job.
      toddybottom
    • I also agree!

      @DannyO_0x98 Apple has proved before that it knows little about Windows (which makes sense, really). Does anyone remember the time that 50,000 iPods shipped out infected with Windows Viruses due to some poor Windows PC management in the supply chain?

      It's certainly a cool idea, but I feel the only company that is going to make an App store on Windows will be Microsoft. I am looking forward to it!
      Imrhien
  • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

    If they are going to bring an "App Store" to Windows then Microsoft, Apple, and all the other software vendors need to work together to make it one App Store. Having multiple App Stores just increases the confusion for consumers.
    bobiroc
    • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

      @bobiroc What's "confusing" about multiple app stores? Does having Barnes and Noble and Amazon both selling books online "confuse" anyone?
      jgm@...
      • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

        @jgm@...
        well bobiroc, you know...
        theo_durcan
      • Barnes and Noble and Amazon both selling books online "confuse" anyone?

        @jgm@...

        Yes it does.

        So you think it is better for an end user to download and install a client from multiple companies just to get apps for their computer while all of them eat up computer resources and clog up the system?

        There should be one App store Client and if Apple or other companies want to get their own little store in that App store then cool but not separate applications to run the app store. Using your comment as a comparison it is like there is one internet and Barnes and Noble and Amazon have stores on that internet. You do not have to launch separate internets to get to them.
        bobiroc
  • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

    They could and Apple would really like that 30% cut but I don't know of the software developers would go for it.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

      @Loverock Davidson-

      The software vendors that bought into the Apple App Store business model certainly bought into it's financial stipulations. Since vendors of mainstream apps often port those apps to different platforms, I see no reason why they would not agree to that 30 percent fee. (BTW, in case you haven't been keeping up with the latest Microsoft news, MS has stated that their app store business model would exactly follow Apple's financial terms.)
      kenosha77a
    • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

      @Loverock Davidson- I think 30% for distribution cost is not a bad deal. Especially considering there are no upfront costs for DVDs/printing and shipping, or hosting. This is especially true for small Developemnt groups.
      I don't have a good feel for content, which may be the issue for in App purchases, relative to books, music, etc.
      jhuddle
    • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

      @Loverock Davidson- I agree. The majority of what is sold on the App Store(TM) is dirt cheap. For what would of been free in the Linux and Windows platforms, the Apple developers are charging because Apple won't let them give it away [without Apple getting its 30%] and they figure if they can buy a $500 iPad gadget, they can addord to fork over a buck or more on some software they would of otherwise given away.
      Look at the shareware and commercial sites for Windows. When do you ever see anything for under $10?
      As I said before, why does Apple deserve to get 30% of what's paid? And if whatever was purchased had to be refunded 100% of the purchased price comes from the developer and nothing from Apple. So what exactly has Apple deserved to get 30%? Disk space? For something on an iPhone [where there is limited space already]? Transaction fees? Not that much. It's not like Apple will advertise your software in papers, magazines, web site ads, etc.
      Most places slice off a few $$$ if you download it rather than request a physical shipment. But not 30% off.
      Gisabun
  • RE: Could Apple bring a PC App Store to Windows?

    No! I like having my software on a physical medium, be it a CD, DVD, or hard disk. That way I'm in control not some cloud-based app store (Apple or MS-hosted). There is no waiting to download an 8 GB file and I have automatic backup if I need to install it again without downloading it every time. With an app store companies are in control, not users.
    statuskwo5