Isn't the App Store basically just Steam but for general applications?

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    The Mac IS a closed platform – Anto Feb 12 '11 at 15:45

Application stores, which force the user to go through them (as this happens on iPhone), dramatically change the business scene for software vendors.

With "old-style" approach the user needed to go to the search engine to find an application he needs or to rely on friends' suggestions or magazine articles. This made it possible for developers to create a dozen of similar applications and compete for user's attention. They did it with SEO, SMM, and other TLAs.

If the application store becomes the only channel via which the software reaches the user, then the winner of the top position in the store's section takes most attention, leaving other developers without profit (as there's only one top spot per section usually and the developer has no way to influence the procedure of getting into the top spot).

What's even worse is that Apple's voluntary policy of accepting or denying applications for the store means that the developer doesn't know if his application is accepted until he completes it and submits it to the store.

This way, the application store turns the more or less predictable software business into a casino, where you make a high stake (needed to develop an application) and then bet that stars are positive to apple's decision to approve your application and that you win the top spot. If you lose (and chances are very high that you do), then good bye thousands of bucks and months of your life time.

  • +1 up until that last sentence. Apple has made clear in past announcements that the vast majority of apps get approved, and the ones that don't are usually because of trivial mistakes that are easily corrected. The rest of the App Store experience, however, is up to the developer to properly market their application outside of the App Store to reach the top spot. I'll grant that is casino-like, but it still treats all but a very select few applications in exactly the same way. I'm not saying Apple is without its flaws, but only so much can be blamed on them for an app's fate. – Philip Regan Feb 12 '11 at 18:39
  • @Philip whatever Apple says is just words. They changed their minds many times and they denied legitimate applications after initial acceptance so it's not wise to even trust them. Business is about trust, they've proven that they can't be trusted. So it's not business, but gambling. – Eugene Mayevski 'Callback Feb 12 '11 at 19:10

Because all the application in AppStore is made for Mac. And most people prefer app store to download and install application in Mac.

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    It's "Mac" not "MAC". "MAC" is a networking protocol or just shouting the name (and I can appreciate the enthusiasm being a Mac user myself). Good answer otherwise. – Philip Regan Feb 12 '11 at 16:05
  • @Philip: is it okay now? – Harry Joy Feb 12 '11 at 16:58
  • Yes, thanks. I don't mean to seem pedantic about it, but it is a pet peeve of mine. – Philip Regan Feb 12 '11 at 18:31

I highly doubt the Mac will become a closed platform; it's a computer. Also, I read an article about this and if I remember correctly, it stated that Apple confirmed Macs will not be closed platforms. The App Store just provides simplicity to find good software for OS X quickly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. :)

  • Do you have a link to that confirmation by Apple? – Paul Nathan Feb 12 '11 at 18:35
  • @Paul Unfortunately I don't... it's been a while. – Alex Feb 13 '11 at 5:25

The only real question is whether they can get away with doing it. The iPad and iPhone only allow distribution via the AppStore already. To me, this is a strong indication that they'd do the same with the Mac if they thought they could without losing much market share.

The only thing stopping them is the fact that only about 95% of Mac users are blindly devoted to Apple because it's "cool" -- the 5% or so who'd jump ship if they did anything too evil still represents something like $600 Million/year, which is a bit much for Apple to just throw away.


Yes and as an example, I buy ALL my games over steam. When a game is not on steam I will most likely never buy it.

  • Sucker! I just play free of charge on onemorelevel.com - no installation, no $ to spend, no addiction - I can drop it at any time and not feel guilty. – Job Feb 12 '11 at 16:13
  • @Job, they don't have Civilization on onemorelevel. Why play something that don't have addiction potential? – user1249 Feb 12 '11 at 17:11
  • @Thorbj, I do not want to be addicted to the computer stuff, so that I can experience life outside of technology. For instance, I wish I did not notice a null terminator in the middle of your name. – Job Feb 12 '11 at 17:25
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    @Job, anything within reasonable limits - as for hanging out on this site. It is not a null terminator, as it has a non-zero unicode value... – user1249 Feb 12 '11 at 18:07

The concept is the same. Easy installation and uninstallation of applications.

Steam just focus primarily on games - usually needing license checking - and the Mac Application store on applications.

So yes, they are competitors but with different customers.