In the next 90 days, Apple is planning to offer the Mac App Store, the desktop version of the company's mobile marketplace on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The idea, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is to bring the same level of productivity and usability to the Mac that consumers are currently enjoying on the company's mobile products. It's an interesting idea.
But debate is currently raging over whether or not the Mac App Store will be a success. Those who are against the idea say that consumers will want full functionality-something, they say, can't be done with Apple's marketplace. Plus, they say, it makes more sense on an iPad or an iPhone, not on a desktop.
However, that argument is somewhat short-sighted. Apple's idea is a good one. As long as it's implemented in the same way as its mobile App Store, there is no reason why it won't be as big of a hit on a MacBook Pro as it is on the iPhone 4.
1. Strength in numbers
It's hard to bet against an app store that allows developers to quickly and efficiently create as many programs as they want with little to no risk. That has been proven time and again in Apple's current App Store, which has more than 300,000 applications available to people looking for just about anything. If Apple enjoys similar success with the Mac-based version of its store, the consumer experience of using Mac OS X will only improve, which would then translate to more success for Apple and developers.
2. It's what Apple has needed
With the help of a Mac App Store, Apple will be able to quickly catch up to the software lead Microsoft is enjoying with its Windows platform. Granted, Apple's apps will likely be underpowered compared with those running natively on the desktop, but who cares? In an increasing number of cases, powerful desktop applications are becoming less necessary.
3. The enterprise will come around
The corporate world has some trouble with Mac OS X. The operating system lacks compatibility with mission-critical applications, which makes it a less viable choice for many companies. However, the Mac App Store could change all that. If business developers see promise in it, they might create worthwhile programs for Mac users-and, in the process, more companies might warm up to Apple's operating system.
4. Consumers already respond well
Apple's App Store caters to consumers. Plus, many of those people that buy apps from their iPhone are running Windows at home. If they see value in accessing another app store from the desktop, they might just opt for Macs in the future because of their desire to keep using those simple programs. That could be good for Apple.