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// Tales from software development

The Mac App Store opens

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The Mac App Store opened today. It could have easily been a disaster but everything seemed to work with only the occasional minor glitch.

The App Store might not seem that big a deal to non-Apple users but what’s really interesting about it is that it’s changing users’ expectations of how software should be bought and how much they should expect to pay for it.

The App Store brings ease of use for end users (e.g. automatic download and installation without administrator prompts, updates for installed applications from the App Store, etc.) , the reduced cost to users (more on this below), and a good return for developers (70% of the price).

The iPhone/iPad App Store has proved that there’s a lot of money to be made in selling a large volume of an application at a low price. Most apps are priced at a few dollars (with many being 99 cents).

Even though Apple doesn’t price it’s own apps this low, it is setting an example in showing that an app sold through the store, i.e. without the margins of a reseller and the costs of distribution, ought to be cheaper to the user.

Apple’s iWork Suite comprises Pages, Numbers, and Keynote and sells for £72 as a boxed retail product. Each app is available in the Mac App Store for £11.99 making a total of just under £36. So, Apple is discounting its own software by 50%. It’s difficult to imagine Microsoft being so generous.

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Written by Sea Monkey

January 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

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