Journey to the Center of the Mac App Store

Apple [AAPL] now plans to cease boxed software sales through its retail channels in favor of pushing all application sales via the Mac App Store, a report claims. Is this a convenience for connected consumers or a move to take complete control of Mac software sales?

Apple's plans for an App Store for Mac apps first emerged last April, when I reported on claims made by the developers at Rixstep:

"Developers planning on marketing software for 10.7 will submit their products to the App Store as iPhone and now iPad developers have already done," they said.

Baseless fiction?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs immediately dismissed the claims. Asked, "There's a rumor saying there will be a Mac App Store and no software without authorization from Apple will run on Mac OS X. Is that true?", the company's CEO wrote, "Nope."

Accusing the Rixstep article of being baseless fiction, one developer reportedly said, "I'm in the Mac Developer program, and there have been no announcements from Apple about 10.7 whatsoever."

Except Rixstep had an inside track. Flash forward a few short months and the Mac App Store for OS X is here. "Developers have done a great job bringing Apps to the store and users are loving how easy and fun the Mac App Store is," said Jobs, welcoming the successful launch of the store.

Things are looking good. Sales are extremely strong. Developers from iOS are bringing their Apps to the Mac, and developers, including Microsoft, are plotting a path to offer software through that store.

[This story is from Computerworld's Apple Holic blog. Follow on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

Why?

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