Apple to Open Mac App Store on January 6

Apple will launch its Mac App Store on January 6, 2011, three months after CEO Steve Jobs announced it. The Mac App Store will be a desktop-bound replica of the wildly popular App Store for iOS devices, aiming to simplify the way Mac users discover and purchase applications for their computers.

The Mac App Store will be available in 90 countries and will offer free and paid applications in six categories (Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity, and Utilities). In a similar fashion to the iOS App Store, the Mac App Store will let users browse apps by downloads, staff favorites or what's hot. Customer ratings and reviews will also be available.

The Mac App Store will use the same iTunes account credentials as the iOS App Store, and will allow you to run any apps you purchase on any of your personal Macs, taking away the hassle of imputing serial numbers and licensing multiple computers. Another advantage of the Mac App Store is that the store itself will keep track of application updates, and will notify you, as with the iOS App Store.

However, just like the iOS App Store, developers who want their applications included in the Mac App Store will have to go through an approval process. This means that some applications Apple does not like, or which alter various features of Mac OSX, won't make it through. Developers who have their apps featured in the Mac App Store will get 70 percent of the sales revenue (Apple keeps 30 percent for the honor), and will not be charged for free apps and credit card fees.

"The App Store revolutionized mobile apps," says Steve Jobs. "We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun. We can't wait to get started on January 6." The Mac App Store will be available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard users as a free download through Software Update.

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