Apple has struck a blow again Microsoft by making multi-Mac ownership cheaper than multi-PC ownership.
Note: Putting aside that whole piracy problem plaguing the Mac App Store ...
How has Apple pulled off this trick? Through this simple entry in the Mac App Store FAQ:
Q: Can I use apps from the Mac App Store on more than one computer?
A: Apps from the Mac App Store may be used on any Macs that you own or control for your personal use.
People seem to have forgotten that Microsoft had an app store of sorts built into Windows Vista called Windows Marketplace. It died.
Check out the use of the word "any" in that sentence. Apple is placing no restriction (other than the personal use clause, which I'm seeking clarification on from Apple ) on the number of Macs that you can install purchased apps on.
No more having to buy software twice. Once you've bought it, you can install it on all your systems. Sure, the freedoms are nowhere near as broad as those offered by open source software, but as far as commercial software goes, these restrictions are about as loose as you'll find. And these aren't just junk 'fart' apps and so on. For Mac users there's some quality stuff to be found in the Mac App Store at a decent price. Sure, not everything, everyone will ever need is there, but if that was a criteria for success, nothing would ever succeed.
Not only that, but the end to serial numbers, activation codes and the like:
Q: Do apps from the Mac App Store require activation keys, serial numbers, or registration numbers?
A: No, but you may be asked for your Apple ID and password the first time you use an app.
I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like a serious simplification for Mac-owning consumers. Not only for those owning multiple Mac systems, but also for those upgrading to newer systems.
About the only potential gotchya I can see is this:
Q: If I have already downloaded an app from the Mac App Store, can I redownload it for free?
A: Yes. You can redownload apps from the Mac App Store as long as the app remains available. You may be asked to enter the Apple ID and password you initially used to download the app.
So if an app or developer vanishes from the App Store, you're out of luck unless you've got a backup (in which case, you've still got access to the app in question).
It's clear that when it came to the Mac App Store that Apple really did choose to 'think different' when it came to licensing. People seem to have forgotten that Microsoft had an app store of sorts built into Windows Vista called Windows Marketplace. It died. Why? Partly because Microsoft couldn't see it as any more than a new way to distribute old thinking.
Whether you're a fan of Apple or not, the company deserves some praise for making software ownership for consumers less of a hassle.