back to article App Store II: Steve Jobs sucks Mac's soul

Apple has hacked the Mac's software ecosystem in two. When Jobs & Co. opens its iOS-style Mac App Store early next year, there will be two types of apps available for the company's flagship — but aging — Apple Macintosh platform: simple consumer-level apps that the vast majority of users will purchase through the online store …


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  1. John I'm only dancing

    A little simplistic

    While I cannot fault a lot you analysis, Rik, the average consumer Mac user will be happy to get their applications from the new Apple store, a significant body of others won't.

    The experienced Mac user is their own sysadmin and they will happily ignore being tied down to Steve Jobs vision. I know I am. I run the software I choose to use, the small apps that will not receive Cupertino's blessing but make my Mac perform how I wish it to perform, and of course I will still use the professional applications that may not be blessed but do the job I want.

    Having said that, I do not have ANY Microsoft software on my Mac anymore, Office became redundant the moment Open Office became usable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It's just a shop. You don't have to buy Mac programs from it.

      I can't really see any disadvantage anyway really. Apple makes money (which is why it exists), and program developers now have a place they can make cash in. And the Mac gets some more programs.

      Don't understand the 'ageing platform' comment though?

      1. Ted Treen

        There is no disadvantage:-

        Same old same old...

        Just another chapter in the "Let's equate anything Apple does with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the coming of the Antichrist and the end of civilisation as we know it" saga.

        Same stuff was spewed out at the opening of the first Apple Store:- the imminent demise of the Mac distribution channel, the immininent collapse of Mac sales, the immediate end of non-Apple Mac software, - ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

        It's all getting rather predictable and rather tedious...

        1. Parsifal
          Jobs Horns

          Err What?

          IF you think that Apple restricting what you can buy and run on your Mac you're crazy. I'm going to bet that a sizable percentage of the Mac user base will use the Mac store because they don't know any better.

          If this isn't a case for the government to at least start looking at apple then I give up, they are at the very least performing an anti competitive action which such a rule-set for the store, then with the insistence of no copy protection contributing to software piracy, not to mention that with them controlling what can be sold by setting arbitrary limits similar apps or the content deciding what MAC users can do.

          <Tin Foil Hat Time> The steps being taken here, seem to be a short step away from Apple only allowing app's bought through the store to be installed on Macs, welcome to 1984 Jobsian style.

          1. Mark 65

            It is and it isn't

            It doesn't stop you from installing what you want but I can kind of understand the issues with restriction/effective restraint of trade. People new to the platform or just not that techy will not doubt be drawn towards this app repository and hence be directed towards the apps that are allowed in rather than the best app for the job which kind of leads towards a rather warped survival of the fittest.

    2. Scott Mckenzie

      No concerns here...

      As said above, you'll still have the choice to install what you want anyway - so what's the issue?

      There will be a simple, centralised repository where you can get a no doubt huge number of apps - easily. I'm sure the install process will be straightforward - most folk are fine with either running an .mpkg file, or mounting a .dmg and then dragging a folder into Applications etc... but if they simplify and streamline that task (like the iPad/iPhone) then they'll win even more fans. My other half is a big Mac fan, but she is always apprehensive about installing programs, updates etc - whereas on the iPhone she has no issues at all.

      It might become an issue if they eliminate all other distribution channels down the line... but to be honest, 95% of users wouldn't bat an eyelid and as demonstrated by the App Store model - would possibly even buy more stuff.

      1. Gil Grissum
        Jobs Horns


        Many are assuming that Steve is just opening a consumer app store and is not and would never consider closing the Mac platform from outside pro apps. He's already done it with the iPhone/iPod/iPad. He's already indicated how Lion will incorporate features of the iPhone OS. In the future, it's not a stretch to lock the hardware and OS down to only app store approved apps. It's a telling sign that an Apple Pro app insider indicates that they are de-emphasizing the pro apps division re-distributing "resources" (nice way of saying- "staff") to consumer divisions. Steve can't have been happy about it when certain professional app companies (ADOBE) made their apps cross platform). Could that be the REAL reason behind banning Flash on iPhone/iPad/iPod? If so, he'll likely attempt that on the Mac's in the future. Do you think everyone who owns a Mac will allow Steve to dictate to them what software they can install and use on their Macs? This is why I'm not giving up my Powerbook G4. It's not the latest kit, but it's from a time where we still had choices in software.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Locked down iPhone

          The iPhone *started* locked down, it wasn't open and then Jobs closed it. Bad analogy.

      2. JEDIDIAH

        The shape of things to come.

        > As said above, you'll still have the choice to install what

        > you want anyway - so what's the issue?

        Well, it's right here.

        > There will be a simple, centralised repository where you

        > can get a no doubt huge number of apps - easily.

        If you want to be a first class citizen on the Mac platform you

        have to basically put up with Apple's HOA and all of their

        bogus CCNRs. This is in start contrast to a more open platform

        like Linux where you can take advantage of all of the benefits

        of an "app store" interface without having to make any compromises,

        give up your liberties or sell your soul.

        Of course Apple seeks to influence the nature of the platform. There

        would be no other reason for subjecting developers to these sorts of

        restrictions. Of course it is their hope that their desktop platform

        becomes more like their phone platform.

        Otherwise they would not bother with the BS and restrictions.

        Without the sort of apps that Apple would not approve of, Macintosh simply isn't a truely n00b friendly platform.

    3. Matthew Barker


      "...the moment Open Office became usable."

      When was that, then? Was a great flock of pigs seen migrating south high, overhead in a v-formation?

  2. Chris Pearson
    Jobs Horns

    Pass the tin foil please

    I really hope this doesn't come to pass, as mac user I like the OS, the built in apps, and general useability. But if this comes even close I suspect I will be going back to MS and I suspect a lot of folks will be joining me. The depreciation of Java seems to be the 1st step, the mac store the 2nd.

    1 question though, is apple going to be looking at anti competitive suits if this goes ahead? Yes I can go buy a windows/linux PC, BUT on those I am allowed to install anything I want. I'm surprised that the AppStore isn't under more scrutanty as well to be honest.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Is this the beginning of the end?

      Since this rumour was mooted, it has worried me. Now it has come to pass, is this the beginning of the end?

      Steve Jobs, like most CEOs can be very brash, some point down the road would he simply lock up the OSX desktop and insist everything go through the store, without fail? It's proved to be a great money spinner for the mobile entertainment market.

      I can imagine the scheming minds of the Apple "priests" looking into a way to do this, for the very reason that the mobile platform is the way it is.

      If it happens, I will simply dump OSX, install Linux on my Mac and wait for it to die before going back to a "grey" desktop machine. It would be a shame, I like OSX, but I would like choices on my desktop and this is one step too far.

      Interesting times for the Mac faithful, let's see what happens.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Jobs Horns

        re: the beginning of the end

        Sadly, I do believe it is the beginning of the end for the ‘innovative Apple’; reason being is that Jobs’ ego won’t allow anything larger, be it the long term viability of Apple (the cult following of the Mac platform, OS or iPhone) to exist in the same dimension.

        In Short, Mr. Jobs has turned into the same scummy corporate weasel type that Apple has always distanced themselves from.

        Way to go Steve, you almost killed Apple once, this time you just might succeed, and in a most spectacular fashion, too!

  3. Kevin Bailey

    At least the apps are being checked properly...

    I'm not a Mac user - have used Debian for about ten years - but at least Apple are trying to protect the user from crapware.

    Ubuntu and Gnome/KDE implement something similar - i.e. there are dozens of IM clients but the Gnome guys choose one which is the 'best' and make that the one installed when the OS is first installed. Same for FTP client, Photo manager, Music manager etc.

    Also, on Ubuntu you have the 'Software Centre' to allow users to add apps. And I think the apps in the software centre are picked by Ubuntu/Canonical as ones which are good quality and they are maintained by Canonical. This is great because non-techie users can go to the 'Software Centre' and pick software and add it without worrying about the quality. Also, they are adding the ability for users to rate applications which is even better.

    Of course, this being OSS I can open the lower level Synaptic package manager (or command line) and install any software I want.

    (BTW - another aspect of the centralised software distribution is the seamless provision of updates. At my sister's school we installed Ubuntu PC's to run the whiteboards. The software is available from a repository set up by the whiteboard manufacturers - so by adding that repository to the repository list we now get all updates downloaded automatically as part of the software update tool. These are Promethean whiteboards running Activ Inspire software.)

    Apple are being strict but that helps them keep the quality of the experience high.

    I'm sure Photoshop etc will always be available even if via the app store. In fact, if there was a way to rent Creative Suite then that would be great as we'd prefer to pay a monthly amount and always have the most up-to-date version - instead of paying £1,500.00 every 4-5 years.

    So you pays your money and you takes your choice - Apple which has an excellent record of high quality products and is now attempting to ensure that all software is high quality as well - or Ubuntu which has a more community based approach to helping you choose good software.

    I choose Ubuntu on the desktop as it has all the tools I need - my wife chooses a Mac because she needs Creative Suite which isn't available for Ubuntu.

    Either way - competition is good and the market benefits.

    1. Tigra 07

      RE: Kevin Bailey, read that again

      How can you talk up all the good points of apple and then end with "Either way - competition is good and the market benefits."

      apple in no way allows competition, they restrict it as much as possible to the point where they get sued and inevitably lose for uncompetitive behaviour.

      Their Lion OS will start one hell of a lot of lawsuits against apple and ultimately lead apple to a two-tier internet; the policed apple controlled net and the free internet that has always existed and flourished.

      Noone in the right mind could support such a company, they're getting worse and more controlling.

      Think 1984 but in the early years

      1. Kevin Bailey

        The competition is between...

        ... Apple and OSS/Ubuntu. I thought that was obvious - especially the previous paragraph RE me Ubuntu - wife Mac.

        'apple in no way allows competition' - umm, their market share is much smaller than Wintel - don't see them leaning on Dell to remove linux machines.

        'Their Lion OS will start one hell of a lot of lawsuits against apple' - Why?

        I'm saying that the choice will be between Apple's way and OSS - and competition is good.

        They may be keeping tight control over their own ecosystem - but if you don't like it then don't buy it. Personally I think they make great machines because I recommend all relatives/friends to buy Mac's - that way I never get calls RE Wireless not working, what's this virus warning, why's it so slow, etc etc

        So - to be clear - I see the competition as between Apple's way and OSS.

        Bootnote - I've had good success recently with Ubuntu. I'll take a knackered PC and put Ubuntu on it - people seem to be very happy with using it.

  4. DrXym

    I wonder how Steam for the Mac will fair

    If the OS suddenly acquires an app store that sells games and provides gaming infrastructure, then Steam usage is going to plummet. I predict lawsuits are going to fly over this because it can be rightly construed as monopolistic.

    1. Euchrid

      re: I wonder how Steam for the Mac will fair

      Pretty well I would have thought.

      If you buy a game, which is on both the Mac and Windows platforms, via Steam then you're able to play it on either platform whenever you want.

      I can't really see a Mac Store from Apple offering games that users can play on both operating systems, so Steam will still have that unique selling point.

      Also, and this is a big 'also', games that run in Windows and OS X tend to run better on the former because of the ports and there's a greater range of games on Windows. Although we are seeing more games coming on for the Mac, there's normally a delay in them being ported - although the latest Civilization game is meant to be coming to the Mac 'this fall', it was only confirmed that the port was going to happen a little while after the game had come out, so consumers don't always even know if, let alone when.

      If you're into gaming and you use a Mac, it's incredibly unlikely that you'll use the Mac OS as your primary gaming platform - you'll also be running Windows and/or using a console(s) - there's no way that's going to change with an Apple "app store that sells games and provides gaming infrastructure."

      There are quite a few sites that sell Mac games online and I would have thought it's those companies who would get worried, not Steam.

    2. Ted Treen

      What, me panic?

      If Steam usage plummets, that would be a commercial choice of Mac users - and nothing to do with Apple. Preventing Apple opening an App store to protect Steam's revenue stream can also be rightly construed as monopolistic.

      Apple's Apple Stores aren't viewed as monopolistic because you can buy your Mac from wherever you like.

      Ditto Mac software.

      Only if you're restricted to the App store alone, could it be viewed as anything like monopolistec.

      1. DrXym

        @Ted nope

        Sorry that's BS.

        It's a well understood principle of the power of the default that no matter how great some other software is most people will stick with the one they got in the box. If people use it in preference to Steam it won't be the user's commercial choice, it will be due to Apple using their OS to leverage and unfairly promote an unrelated product. It's no less abusive and monopolistic when Apple does it than it was when Microsoft did.

        Microsoft was hauled over the coals for it, and I hope the same happens to Apple.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Power of the default

          The power of the default is already in full effect for Mac users. Same with Windows. Most people just use their computers for web browsing, email, and IM. OS X has been shipping with default software for all of these things bundled for years now, so why start complaining now?

          I assume there are two types of Mac users, those who install a lot of 3rd party software and those who don't. The former already know how to find and install software from the web and will continue to do so. The latter will likely use the App Store because it's easy and convenient. The net result is that usage of 3rd party software increases overall, which is good for the platform, developers, and users in general.

          1. jai

            re: Steam

            wtf? you're somehow assuming that the same game that comes out on Steam will also be available within the Mac App Store? I doubt that is going to happen, where's the benefit for the developers to have to create two builds?

            so it'll be just the same as it is now - if you want to play the games that are on Steam, you'll get Steam. if not and you're more interesting in smaller, light-weight games, you'll get them from the App Store

            1. DrXym

              @jai the benefit is obvious

              "where's the benefit for the developers to have to create two builds?"

              Well duh.

              I'm sure it is an inconvenience to target multiple builds, but at the end of the day there is money to be made from doing it. The app store will be the DEFAULT STORE and by virtue will receive far more eyeballs on it that Steam will over time. At some point it may well be steam that gets sidelined because its growth stalls or users jump ship.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Euchrid

                re: @jai the benefit is obvious

                "The app store will be the DEFAULT STORE and by virtue will receive far more eyeballs on it that Steam will over time. At some point it may well be steam that gets sidelined because its growth stalls or users jump ship."

                That's a huge maybe.

                At the moment, most Mac games (as far as I'm aware) when ported use the Cider system. Some like Dragon Age are decent ports and offer roughly the same performance as the Windows version…. if you’re using a machine that’s fairly high-end, that is.

                On the other hand, you have ports like Neverwinter Nights 2 that ran like a mangy, three-legged dog in need of a nap.

                The performance of the much trumpeted Mac version of the Orange Box was greatly inferior to the Windows version. On the same hardware, it wasn’t unusual to see anything from a 50-100% performance increase when running the latter.

                With a case of the Orange Box, we’re talking about something that was released three years ago, which is only now on the Mac with reduced performance… with stuff like this, do you think people that are actually into gaming are going to jettison Windows games and/or Steam because Apple has an ‘official’ gaming app store/infrastructure?

                Cider appeals to developers because it's cheap and easy, but making the Mac into a serious contender it does not.

  5. Herby

    Interesting timing of this...

    It is STILL October 31 here in the Pacific time zone (Cupertino, CA) and being Halloween, all I can say is:

    Trick or Treat!

    Apple has chosen "Trick!".

  6. Tommy Pock

    Consumer-led marketplace

    There is still a choice here; consumers can choose not to buy a Mac.

    1. Ilgaz

      or cancel their order

      I know one .edu (not american) who cancelled their 400 mac mini order and went with debian/mini pc custom built because of Java depreciation.

      Unlike most of current IT news sites, they know Oracle and do have a clue about whether World's largest enterprise software would tinker with consumer toy OS (which it sadly became).

  7. Shades

    Pass the popcorn...

    ...I'm looking forward to this!

  8. Iggle Piggle

    The fat lady

    You cannot help but wonder how Opera will react if Safari is the only offering of browser. Yes, you may be free to download and install a different browser, a different word processor, a different photo gallery and so on. But if the defaults are determined by the app store then those excluded from that store will surely have the same right to justice as Opera did with the Microsoft IE feud.

    Personally I don't think Opera should have been given 5 seconds in court but given that they were and that the won I'd say surely it must be Apple next.

  9. dave 93

    Hold your horses...

    Even when you admit that users will still be able to install apps from elsewhere, you then add 'But let's be realistic: most won't.' The point is that those who want to will still be able too.

    When you add the web to the range of activities that users will still be allowed to use, then your article is classic FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt)

    Apple has discovered that most computer users just want it all to work, and are happy to have their choice limited to hundreds of thousands of apps. Not rocket science, but a fact.

    Those who wish to tread their own path will do exactly that, and if that means abandoning Macs for their tinkering, they may want to keep one around for when they need to get something done - always the Mac's main advantage, no?

    1. Ted Treen
      Jobs Halo

      Well said Dave93

      A concise and accurate appraisal. The world appears to be full of Chicken Lickens screaming that the sky is falling, and they appear to equate opening an App store with a total monopoly/control over what you can buy for your Mac.

      Can you only buy a Mac from an Apple Store?, no.

      Can you only add iTunes purchases to an, no.

      Can we expect this irrational hatred of

      Apple & Steve Jobs to abate, and be

      replaced with reasoned discourse?, probably not.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Disingenous Apple response at best.

        > Can you only add iTunes purchases to an, no.

        Actually, you can only add iTunes approved content to an iPod. It sits as the gatekeeper telling you what you can or can't put on the device. Also, the devices themselves can only handle the most basic QuickTime supported content.

        If you try to "adapt" anything else, the Fanboys will instantly try to brand you a pirate.

        1. Chad H.


          Um I don't know where you get that iTunes approved thing from. Ive ripped from Cd to iPhone no problems, importing to iTunes isn't approval.

    2. DrXym

      It's called the power of the default

      "Even when you admit that users will still be able to install apps from elsewhere, you then add 'But let's be realistic: most won't.' The point is that those who want to will still be able too."

      Microsoft initially shipped Windows 95 with an MSN client expressly because it would shut out AOL. Likewise they later did the same with Internet Explorer to shut out Netscape. Even after years and years of outcry, security alerts, broken functionality, lawsuits and EU commission fines, Internet Explorer still commands 50% browser usage.

      That's the power of the default. People either don't know any better, or aren't motivated enough to try something else.

      I really see no difference in what Microsoft did (and was eventually stomped on for), or what Apple is doing now.

      Now all this can be avoided if Apple don't install the app store as part of the OS, don't promote it in any preferential way and require users to manually install it for themselves. I expect the chances of that happening are pretty remote. Apple has already demonstrated they'll force software on people they didn't ask for (e.g. Safari appearing in an iTunes update for Windows) and I expect the app store will be no different. The interesting part will be to see if Valve (for one) uses it to sue them or even launch an antitrust suit.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    What has escaped you

    is that most Linux/*BSD distributions have had an analogous, maintainer-curated repository system for distributing software, where decisions on what exactly to include are often fairly arbitrary (with the exception of popular apps, like The GIMP and alike). Apple nicked the idea (as is customary to them).

    Now, as long as Apple isn't going to restrict other methods of software installation, then it won't be too different from, say Canonical. And if Jobs and Co are going to limit the source from which one can install apps, then as soon as they reach certain market share anti-trust regulators would be sitting on their backs. So I would watch carefully what they're doing, but wouldn't be overly worried.

    1. DrXym


      What most Linux systems provide is a package management system and a default list of repositories that are checked when the administrator chooses to update that system. For example Debian based systems use apt (over dpkg) and Red Hat based systems use yum (over rpm). In both cases, the list of packages you can install is governed by a source repository list which is a simple text file.

      You the administrator are entirely free to modify the repositories as you wish regardless of what Ubuntu / Debian / Red Hat would say on the matter. You may even remove the official ones and use somebody else's if that's what you want.

      The point in saying this is that package managers facilitate keeping your OS up to date and installing software but you are not constrained in any way if you wish to do something different. Indeed the very fact there are several well supported versions of Linux means you don't even have to suck it up and like it if one dist imposed an onerous or crappy store on you. For example of that in action see what happened to Lindows / Linspire and it's much derided ClickNRun store.

      1. Pawel 1

        As we don't know

        what does Apple mean by the option to install software from other sources, I don't think you can say they are limiting your freedom. MacPorts can be considered a different 'repository' and as long as it and its likes are allowed to co-exist with the Apple's system, I see no problem.

  11. Robert E A Harvey

    Welcome to the 21st Century

    Capitalism red in Tooth & Claw.

    I am reminded of the wise words of Christine Keeler in other circumstances, when asked to comment on someone putting self-interest above integrity:

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?"

    1. Smallbrainfield

      Erm, It was

      Mandy Rice-Davies that said that actually.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Ah yes

        So it was.

        Well done.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    From my point of view, the no bugs rule is good. If you install an app with an unknown bug, which is subsequently exploited and your mac gets hacked, you can now blame (ie sue) apple as they have effectively certified the app as bug free!

    Floodgates open!

    1. Ted Treen


      I've never (in over 30 years' IT work) seen an EULA which certifies anything as "Bug-free" - effectively or otherwise.

      For anyone to do that the app would have to be exhaustively tested on every conceivable permutation of hardware, with every conceivable permutation of configuration & set-up, with every conceivable permutation of concurrent software and in every conceivable permutation of circumstances.

      In every conceivable permutation of the foregoing.

      75-year software gestation periods, anyone?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exhibit bugs

      No they will verify that it doesn't "exhibit" bugs, not the fact that it doesn't HAVE bugs.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge


        If you HAVE a bug that isn't exhibited, is there really a bug?

        (If a tree falls in the forest...but there isn't a QA engineer there to verify that it fell, did it **really** fall? And how much noise did it really make?)

  13. Rupert Stubbs

    One small flaw...

    Unfortunately for your argument, people will still be able to put "unapproved" apps onto their Macs.

    The Mac App Store is more like iTunes as a store - you can buy music from iTunes for convenience, or buy it elsewhere and copy it into iTunes. Does that mean that music that's not "approved" for the iTunes Store (because of naughty words, say), disappears from Macs forever? No, of course it doesn't.

    As others have said about the Mac App Store, it is more likely to open up the market to the mass of Mac users who don't normally buy programs...

  14. paulc

    GPL software?

    From what I'm seeing on the web, the Apple app store is completely GPL incompatible in that it imposes restrictions on the customer in addition to those of the GPL itself. And Apple's response so far is that instead of making their app store terms GPL compatible, are just removing GPL'd apps from it... Customers are being denied choice and their rights under the GPL are being infringed.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Stallman's delusions of grandeur

      Has the GPL somehow mutated from a software licence to human rights legislation? All hail president Stallman?

      1. Ilgaz

        get a clue eh?

        rms is either a visionary or a paranoid with amazing luck to see where IT could be heading 25 years later.

        App store for desktop and you still call him names?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Confused article

    I think one of the closing statements pretty much sums up the contradictions in this article:

    "we're not saying that such a world is even on the distant horizon. But still..."

    The author is desperately trying to lead the reader to fear that Apple will lock down the entire Mac ecosystem, whilst reluctantly acknowledging that the idea is patently ridiculous. A total lockdown would reduce the Mac to the practical functionality of a games console - if Apple really saw that as desirable, they could start a new one rather than butchering a successful and healthy platform.

    I think the proposed App Store for the Mac is long overdue. It simply recognises that there is a huge market for certain types of applications that are somewhat lightweight and purchased on impulse. But to date, finding, installing, and maintaining this type of software has been far harder than warranted. The success of apps on the iPhone has proven how lucrative this concept can be.

    But most applications for work or business will never be well served by this particular model. But what really demolishes this fear-mongering is the simple fact that you couldn't develop any Apps to put in the marketplace on a completely locked-down platform.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Ted Treen

      If...'re using Photoshop on a non-Apple platform, and are happy with it, then why TF should you be concerned about its availability on the Mac.

      Yup, I use CS5 on my Mac Pro.

      Nope, I couldn't care less that it's also available on other platforms.

      Your attitude is so much like the Honecker approach - stop VWs coming in so they'll have to have Trabants.

      And you call someone else "Big Brother"? - oh, the irony!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Only if you should so choose, of course."


    Anyway, there aren't many companies sitting on $50billion. Presumably, they're doing something right...

  18. Vaidotas Zemlys
    Jobs Horns

    Entertainment value?

    So what is entertainment value of Aquamacs, Macvim, Mactex, R, midnight commander and bunch of other open source apps, I used to earn the money to buy my Macbook Pro? If apps will be used for entertainment only, does this mean that Apple will discontinue Pro line of its products? So in future if you'll be wanting to do some work with computer from Apple, and watch a movie on it afterwards you'll need either use dual boot, or buy a PC.

    1. Ted Treen
      Jobs Halo

      More FUD

      iLife goes from strength to strength - Joe Consumer likes iMovie...

      Don't see the Final Cut Pro team wearing sackcloth & ashes & proclaiming the end is nigh...

      Don't propogate hysterical sophistry.

  19. chris 17 Silver badge

    wtf what a load of drivel

    so just because there will be a Mac App Store it will naturally follow that in the future you will only be able to install apps from it.!!!!!!

    the strictures seem to be encouraging these Mac Store Apps to be like the simple dashboard widgets from os x 10.4 Tiger. They will never be like the more functional apps we are familiar with today.

    think about it before you let your apple hating imagination jump to far fetched conclusions.

    1. DrXym

      It's called the power of the default

      Even if the app store is optional, it's very existence in the OS crushes any chance of a 3rd party solution getting off the ground. Do you think it is fair that Steam (for example) is forced to compete with an app store that installs out of the box? It creates a chilling effect on creativity, starving competing services and freezing out apps that do not "comply" with whatever arbitrary criteria Apple uses to deny listing them on the app store.

      Really this is little different from when Microsoft tried to inflict first MSN and later Internet Explorer on Windows users. In both cases it was a cynical attempt to leverage its privileged position as the OS provider to force out competitors. Apple is just doing the same and I expect lawsuits will follow unless they tread exceedingly carefully.

  20. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Isn't this basically the same as a package manager on Linux?

    On Linux you can either get your applications and software via the package manager, where all the applications and software are build and approved by the maintainers (tested, patches applied for stability and so on). Or you can download the source code and compile yourself.

    In Linux package repositories often applications and software is not included because it doesn't meet their standards. Software with possible licence issues, reverse engineered software and so on. Mplayer, decss are two examples of software you usually have to add a 3rd party package source for.


      There is a reason jailbreaking is so popular.

      > Isn't this basically the same as a package manager on Linux?

      No. A Linux package manager is offered to everyone in a non-discriminatory manner.

      There is nothing non-discriminatory about how Apple provides package install services.

      People jailbreak their phones over this nonsense.

      People jailbreak their phones to get access to a proper package manager that doesn't try to play favorites. Cydia is more the model of a Linux package manager. The Apple store is not.

      It's not the tech, it's the policies.

  21. Jeppe

    Sorta agreed

    You've interpreted some of the restrictions incorrectly, I believe, like "shared libraries". I read the policy as stating that you can install/use whatever you'd like in your app bundle, but that you cannot save the shared libraries into the libraries folder. That way, there will be a lot of duplicate on your computer. That's somewhat bad regarding space requirements - but it's not what you read into it.

    Furthermore, requiring a good user interface seems like a good idea - as long as it's handled fairly and non-discriminatory. The hacks that produce non-polished apps can still make them and sell them outside of the App Store, but they cannot expect Grandma Mae to be able to purchase their app. And this may be good for Grandma Mae, as she would not be able to understand their clunky UI. People would love an app store where they can be reasonably sure that the products do as advertised, reliably and easily. The more I think about it, the more I think this restriction is a great service to the world.

    However, I whole-heartedly agree regarding the non-mentioning of non-Apple platforms. WTH, sjobs!?!

  22. envmod


    You're a day late to start trying to put the willies up everyone.

    Look, just relax and wait to see WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS. Start moaning then eh?


  23. Jimmy Floyd
    Jobs Halo

    You are free, to do as we tell you.

    Here's the disclaimer: I despise iOS devices and the technically-illiterate fools who buy them. Yet I've always stood up for the Mac. It's stable, it's effective, it encourages creativity because you don't spend half your time tinkering with it just to get something working. In many ways it's a better platform that Windows and I wish I used it more.

    Now here's the rub: you can't blame Stevie J for going down the route of "Apple Knows Best" on the Mac. Why? Because it's been such a success on iOS devices. Given that background he'd be a fool not to push the restrictions a bit more.

    Here's the problem: Macs aren't like iOSs. The people who have bought them are usually pretty bright and need the flexibility offered by them. OK, you get the occasional fanboi who claims that iTunes re-organising your entire music collection is the best option (you just don't know it yet) but these are capable machines for capable people.

    Here's what's going to happen: Apple products, not just the iPad / iPhone / iPods, are going to become the platform of choice for the technically-incapable. Who cares if you aren't in control, just so long as it [appears to] work. Mass-market computing. A marketing genius, that Steve.

    Here's why it's wrong: the people who support this are no students of history. It might be a bit extreme to compare Apple with totalitarian communist regimes (I'm thinking of Albania, for some reason), but the similarities are there. Centralised power; a population who believe that their way is the best way (though no information about the other way is permitted); no contrary views allowed; a Cult of The Leader; everyone is given the same lowest common denominator; cheering crowds outside the party headquarters / Apple store.

    Here's why it will ultimately fail: for exactly the same reason that those totalitarian communist regimes (Albania in particular) failed. It was all built on a lie, and ultimately those lies are found out.

    Apple's success has a medium term limit, and it will fail in the end, but it's better than no success at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Missed a great opportunity

      Ha ha ha! iLiterate. (sic)

  24. Jonathan Hogg

    Whoah! Relax.

    Let's take a moment to remember that Apple represents, what, 5-7% of the installed desktop market? Yes, they might end up wielding extraordinary control over the apps that many of their users will end up installing, but that's still only a small amount of overall control. Users could, you know, go elsewhere if they wanted to.

    While lots of people see Apple as a cult, they are actually a business. If they've chosen to drop the Pro part of their market then that is, of course, their perogative. I suspect they haven't though, and they have simply recognised that there is an enormous market for small apps - as evidenced by the iOS App Store - and that is not well served at the moment. Most developers of small games and utilities struggle to get their apps seen by Mac users.

    Big and Pro app developers don't really have this problem and will continue to sell their apps exactly as they do now. Microsoft and Adobe are hardly going to be weeping into their beers that they can't sell their apps with a 30% haircut through Apple's store.

  25. Alastair_hm
    Jobs Horns

    End to the free market?

    Anything the restricts free innovation in software development cannot be good.

  26. firu toddo
    Big Brother


    "It remains to be seen just how iOS-y Mac OS 10.7 Lion turns out to be, and how much Apple values its relationship with its devoted professional base."

    Making Lion iOS-y is not beyond the bounds of credibility. Apple don't care about any one but Apple. The bottom line is god and if worshiping this god means locking the OS down, so be it.

    As for Apple's devoted professional base, ask the professional Java Developers using Macs how loved they feel right now.

    If, (when) the OS lock down happens, the pro users will have to go where the pro app developer goes.

    And the pro developers will move on. But I guess that won't be to a fragmented Linux market. So get used to working with Windows.

    The rest of the professional IT world that uses Macs use small but essential apps that will probably fall foul of the Apple App Inquisition. We will move to something else just to get those tools and apps without having to waste our time hacking about with the system. So Linux for me.

    And none of this will bother Apple. There will be many more consumers drawn into the Apple world than pros leaving it. The profit god will be happy and so will Apple.

    Steve Jobs looks more like the Big Brother Apple warned us against all those years ago.

    Anyone got a hammer?

    1. Ilgaz

      no carbon 64bit was end of pro promise

      I am on mobile and I don't want to spend time with tech details but let me say the carbon framework being prisoned/kinda depreciated as it didn't move to 64bit showed first signs of moving away from pro market.

      As you seem to know Linux, think like GTK2 artifically being limited to 32bit to push people to Qt.

  27. Paul M 1


    I don't like the idea of an App store for Macs just like I don't like the fact that my iPhone is tied down to one. Having said that, this article really was nothing more than a tin-foil hat special since as long as you have the choice about installing applications then the App Store police can take the proverbial flying....

    Having said *that* however, the worrying thing is that even though we non-tinfoil hatters can see no clear and present danger, it is a concern that, if things continue as they seem to be, Apple would be in a position where they *could* do this. Imagine 3 years from now when say 95% of consumer applications are bought from the Store for example.

    Having recently bought into the Mac world, the possibilty that a company would even be in a position to be able to achieve this is a concern. Sadly Apple's form in this area is also not encouraging...

  28. Roger Shepherd

    I want Angry Birds on my Mac

    I don't get the criticism at all. Apple are opening a new shop; they want to stock it with the things they want to stock. They're not stopping anyone selling anything for the Mac. I think it is great to see a new channel opened up - one that will enable 99c applications for the Mac. You know, there were downloadable apps for phones before Apple opened the iPhone apps store, but there are a whole load more now. I think the Mac store will do the same for the Mac. Yes, I do want to play Angry Birds on the Mac.

  29. Tony Paulazzo

    This Title copyright Steve Jobs.

    'Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.' M. Yeats

    >it's not beyond the realm of possibility that Apple might use some form of software-keyed lockout to allow only apps it approves of to be installable, and to ban installation access to apps it considers competitive.<

    Well, der...

    Apple app store policy: No 24 hour cooling off period, if there's no demo, your only recourse for a return is to get in touch with Apple and plead for a refund. Not liking an app is no longer reason enough. And judging from some of the 'reviews' on the ipad store, a number regularly crash (on a closed system?), lose data or simply don't do what they advertise, yet the mixture of one and five stars for each apps rating remain consistent (ie 11 one star ticks and 12 five star ticks for the same app).

    >And it'd be Steve's world — you'd just be living in it<

    Tron 2.0 terrifying! Bemused penguin.

    (disclaimer - I have an iPad and a HTC Desire and a windows / ubuntu box)

  30. Matt Bradley
    Jobs Horns

    Oh dear

    The one thing that I worried about (aloud) after the success of the iPhone / iPad / iOS, was that Apple might decide that Mac / Mac OS-X might be more profitable if it were similarly consumer-ized.

    I can see a future where Apple separates its product lines into "consumer" and "professional" divisions, with so called "professional" devices being more and more rarified, more and more geared towards providing iOS developer tools, and becoming more and more expensive.

    I'm now fairly certain that Apple actively doesn't want to work with anybody else. Its closed ecosystem is very profitable, thank you very much, and as long as it doesn't get too big a market share nobody is ever going to challenge it on anti-trust type matters; all Apple needs to do is keep a comfortable < 50% of market by continually pricing itself out of the lower end of the market, and it can carry on locking its other users in.

    With this in mind, an open, low cost, interopable and unrestricted computing platform is pretty much in the opposite direction to Apple's current strategy.

    I'm worried. I only became an Apple user a couple of years ago, and have invested quite a lot in their tech in our business, but I'm now thinking I need to start moving away. Quickly.

    1. skwdenyer

      Yes, yes

      I've said many times that I thought that Apple should have bought out SGI some years ago, and pursued this consumer-and-pro approach. I think it would be a good thing, TBH

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I can't believe it has taken this long for the media in general to comment on the closed nature of the Apple ecosystem! But then again I can't believe that people of all kinds have so liberally voluntarily decided to loose their freedoms offered by open computing platforms, like Linux and Windows. At least there I can write what I want and sell it to whomever I want any way I want.

    It would be a sad world out there if all of the software vendors out there (Google & Microsoft & others) were to take the same approach as Apple!. Who the heck does Jobs think he is, that he knows what's best for ALL of us! God?!?!

  32. Smallbrainfield

    Comment pieces like this appear to suggest Jobs is

    some sort of Dr Evil-style villain with a massive flaw in his otherwise foolproof plan for world domination, which the author of the piece has cleverly spotted. I think Steve just wants his desktops to be as locked down as his pads and his phones.

    There used to be an illusion that buying a Mac was somehow buying into something original and unique. Jobs probably finds that legacy unclean. His devices should be pristine and unmodifiable, unless Steve says it's ok. Which it won't be, because a consumer electronics firm wants you to buy the new box, not something ugly and messy like memory or a new hard-drive (Jobs forbid you have to crack the case and look at the insides!). Buying a Mac is going to be just like buying a games console, only less fun. TBH I'm amazed this hasn't happened sooner.

  33. Gold Soundz

    Valid comments

    But I do think you're being rather hysterical. As you rightly point out on the first page and the final line "only if you should so choose," Mac users will be able to choose whether to buy from the App Store or from outside of it. 'Most won't' because they'll be interested in convenience, and think of the increased revenue for applications which otherwise might never have been discovered - it would be difficult to argue that revenue for developers has not increased hugely on mobile devices since the App Store was launched.

    The fact is, provided Apple do not put up the walls and lock the gates, only allowing users to buy through their app store (which in my opinion will never happen), the app store is just going to be a useful way to discover decent applications and for everything else, it'll be exactly the same.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Applecalype Now'

    Let me be the first to suggest the sub title for a future apple article (in 2 or 3 years?).

    I thank you

  35. MrHorizontal

    Both a good and bad thing

    To be honest, the Mac App store is in general a good thing, but it also shows a couple of other facts:

    1. Why doesn't VersionTracker or MacUpdate produce a store of their own with more lenient terms of use?

    2. If I were a developer, I'd simply release a differently-named version of the software (if it is compatible with store's guidelines) with an RRP of 130% of the original product. If I had to bastardise my software to pass the guidelines, I'd strip out the offending parts and sell a 'lite' version that doesn't have such terminology in it's name. In other words, if a consumer has the nous to use the web to find the original software, they can save themselves 30%, and the developer sees the same revenues regardless.

    3. While certainly not all, a lot of the decent Mac software has a number of kexts, control panels or wraps open source software within it. Think Growl (Control Panel), Viscosity (OpenVPN), or Airfoil (Audio HiJack kext), so it's a pretty ridiculous exercise to deny such apps the distribution they deserve.

    4. The biggest problem though is that the Mac is used for serious apps, not the average level of crap that's available on the iOS store. I can't quite see myself buying Photoshop at full RRP on the Mac store, but I can see myself hunting around retailers to find the best price.

    1. JonHendry


      "3. While certainly not all, a lot of the decent Mac software has a number of kexts, control panels or wraps open source software within it. Think Growl (Control Panel), Viscosity (OpenVPN), or Airfoil (Audio HiJack kext), so it's a pretty ridiculous exercise to deny such apps the distribution they deserve."

      Those will be available the usual way. I can't blame Apple for leaving those out, kexts especially. They require administrative access to install, and increase the complexity of testing.

      "4. The biggest problem though is that the Mac is used for serious apps, not the average level of crap that's available on the iOS store. I can't quite see myself buying Photoshop at full RRP on the Mac store, but I can see myself hunting around retailers to find the best price."

      Apple touted AutoCAD's return to Mac at the Lion event. AutoCAD for Mac costs $3000+. AutoDesk aren't going to give up 30% of that to Apple, nor are they going to replace their licensing system with iTunes' DRM that is the same as is used by free joke apps. The app store doesn't provide anything to companies with big apps for professionals.

      Little App Store apps will probably outnumber the Matlabs and Mathematicas and AutoCADs and Photoshops 10000 to 1, but the pro apps are *important*.

  36. Anonymous Coward


    Yes of course, it's better for everybody if we have to get in our cars and go to the shop to buy software.

    As long as the OS X app store remains another way (rather than the only way) to distribute software then I really don't see a problem. After all people can get software online through non-legal channels so why wouldn't a legal option make sense?.

    Failing to understand how innovation will be stifled, that hasn't exactly happened with the iOS app store now has it? Genuine innovation happens far less frequently then we make out, and so does stifling it.

    Apps outside of the Apple approval process or whatever are still available by clicking the Safari icon.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    If you don't like the new terms

    no big deal buy a dell


    1. Robert E A Harvey


      Frying pan, Fire

  38. Liminality

    Give me a break

    What a pointless FUD-laden article. The entire article rests on the premise that we can ignore the clear statement that 'this will not be the only place to get apps'. I.e. If you want to install AIM or whatever other IM client or 'whimsy app' you want, you can do it like you normally would. Which completely undermines any argument about market forces and consumer choice. Which in turn leaves this article as nothing more than the usual Reg anti-apple windbagging.

    And I'd have thought anyone trying to make a point these days would do well to avoid appealing to the law of the market- surely we've seen where unregulated markets get us to over the past few years? I'm quite happy for an element of regulation to protect the unwashed masses, even if that means we only get 20 fart apps on the app store instead of the 120 that might exist in an un-curated world...

    1. Argh!
      Thumb Down

      Yeah... maybe.. except for the huge hipocrisy

      Apple spent years whining and moaning and suing Microsoft for "anti-competative behaviour". Whether you can get stuff anywhere else or not, this kind of attempted control makes MS look like mere gifted amateurs by comparison and they've had that attitide for years, which is one of the major reasons I don't have a Mac, despite thinking OS-X is actually a better OS than Windows.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Welcome to hell - maybe

    Not sure how to take this. I find it hard to believe Apple will actually lock users out of installing the applications of their choice; the stampede for the exit (at least among those I know) would outstrip the wank fest of an iPhone launch. However Cupertino's growing fetish for nannyism and apparently unravelling grip on reality makes me wonder if they just might not do it.

    As long as Apple let me install what I need to earn my crust, in the way I want, purchased from the place of my choice, I'm quite happy to see 'consumers' buy Knob Growth Chart-o-Matic (or whatever rings their bell) direct from Apple's sanitised "App" store, and I'll continue to buy Apple's pricey hardware. The second they go down the lockout route I'll have to ditch the Mac make a very unhappy choice between an alternative OS I really don't like, or one I actually hate.

    Y'know, it's an old one, but if it ain't broke....

  40. twunt

    Steady on

    You are forgetting that the app store will be entirely optional. This is a massive difference to the IOS version where its the only way to get your apps out there (unless you only want to provide to jailbreakers).

    Devlopers will still be able to provide apps via the same channels they always have. No doubt many will be attracted to this new store, as it much easier to let apple deal with distrubition, and those that do will probably see massive increases in sales, but that doesn't mean that everyone will have to.

    I'm hoping there will be a good proportion of freeware available too.

  41. Matthew 17


    How is The Mac ageing? Or at least ageing any more than Linux or Windows?

    For your average iMac/Macbook user that use a typical suite of office & media applications then a built in portal for all of these will be useful as users may not be familiar with the likes of and the 'AppFresh' application.

    But the idea that Apple will turn their backs on the ProApps market and their power-house machines is silly, the Internet is still a long way off being able to host these applications in the cloud or being able to download 150GB installers in a realistic manor. Pretending that a locked down phone means a locked down OS is obvious FUD, the locked down phones work, just look at the mess that the open platforms are getting themselves into, but locking down an OS that has been open for a decade without issue wouldn't enable Apple to sell any more boxes and would give them a headache whilst they try to manage all the software available for their desktop.

    It's fairly obvious that there is a desire to kill off optical media but speaking as someone that still purchases vinyl there will be a long wait before there's a viable alternative.

  42. Jess

    not sure I agree

    > "Apps that exhibit bugs will be rejected."


    > "If your user interface is complex or less than very good it may be rejected."

    Style guides are good. A program should stick to the system UI. (Although, I would hope having *optional* different behaviour would not be banned)

    > "Apps that duplicate apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them."

    I see their point. But they should only enforce it to prevent dozens of similar apps. (And if an app gets independant success, then they should allow it.)

    > "Apps that are not very useful or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected."

    I can see that one too. They should have a different threshold for free apps.

    > "Apps with metadata that mentions the name of any other computer platform will be rejected."

    Comletely out of order. Isn't this illegal? If not it should be.

    > "Apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected."

    That is fair enough, but shouldn't be limited to just apple products. (But they shouldn't probit skins, just prevent the confusing ones being a default)

    > "Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected."

    They should defer this decision to the relevent government authorities. Have a rating system.

    > "Apps must be self-contained, single application installation bundles, and cannot install code or resources in shared locations."

    This would mean apps can be installed by non admins.

    > "Apps that require license keys or implement their own copy protection will be rejected."


    > "In general, the more expensive your app, the more thoroughly we will review it."

    Makes sense. You certainly wouldn't expect a free app to be as bug free as one you pay £200 for. (OK, you do now, it's just you SHOULDN'T)

    I only see a couple of these as actually bad, the others are just ambigous.

  43. Gabriele Bozzi
    Big Brother

    Games consoles always did this

    Sorry to remind me the obvious but...

    Isn't Nintendo using a similar "curated" model to select their games?

    At some point it has been saving Nintendo from oblivion thanks to the most "puritan" choice of games of the bunch.

    Programmers were guaranteed a marketplace and an educated public, parents and snotty children got cherry-colored games and no explicit violence. Everybody was happy until the iPod came to spoil the party.

    I know: the one is a game console, the other is a general purpose system but, fact is, public needs less and less general purpose systems, it must just work...

    For me is not gonna work however: already not having Java pre-installed is enough to let me think twice before I purchase a Mac again.

    But, after all, I am an old crusty dog, statistically irrelevant.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Character analysis

    It really amazes me how an industry like IT can be so full of people who are afraid of anything new. That has to be one of the biggest contradictions ever.

    It also amazes me the number of thicko's posting on this thread who have automatically assumed that the OS X app store will be the ONLY way to install software.

    And those "running back to Microsoft". Good luck with that, Windows 8 will also feature an app store.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Jeebus Christ

    You guys are a bunch of idiots. To go from 'Apple may' to 'Apple will' lockdown your system, and there's nothing you can do about it, neener, neener, in a single sentence is just, well mind-boggling. Tell me, Rik, do you have a crystal ball or something?

    Apple makes it easier for the same kind of small-time developers to sell their software on a level playing field, and all of a sudden they're perpetrating the worst crime since the movie 'Garfield'?

    What is wrong with the idea of a developer selling his apps to one store, and thereby targeting both iOS devices and the Mac?

    Sure, some things will not get into the store. Tough titties. It's about time someone said: these apps are crap and buggy, do something about it!

  46. Tom 79


    I think some of you should be less willing to be spoon fed your opinions. You're tech people, you're supposed to be analytical.

  47. Justin Clements

    What a load of rubbish

    Let's get a proper analogy going here. App Store is purely a shop front, and on the Mac it will doubly so as users aren't tied in. Maybe some of the tinhat stuff works for the iPhone/iPad apps stores, but consumers still have a choice on the Mac platform. And if Apple try and lock it down, then the Mac simply becomes a footnote in history. As much as Jobs is controlling, he also like $4bn of Mac Gear going through his company books each quarter.

    So, lets say the App Store is Harrods:

    1. Complex or "less than very good"

    No shop wants to sell goods that are hard to use, or just not very good.

    2. Duplicate apps

    No shop is going to line their shelves with every alternative that's available. They will choose what to put on the shelves, and who they want to do business with.

    3. Not very useful or lacking "lasting entertainment value"

    Again, a quality shop only wants to sell useful things. The "arse scratcher" is not something Harrods want to sell.

    4. Mentions other platforms

    Don't mention John Lewis or Bentals whilst shopping in Harrods.

    5. Similar to existing Apple apps

    Harrods have their own make of very expensive jam, and they aren't going to accept anyone else's jam. Get over it.

    6. Objectionable or crude content

    You won't find porno mags or porno dvds in Harrods.


    And so forth. So Apple have standards for their shop front, get over yourself!

  48. Ivan Headache

    Is this an opinion piece?

    Because I don't believe a word of it.

  49. Ilgaz

    With a community like this...

    What made me cancel all mac purchases wasn't java depreciation or app store. It was desktop/laptop using mac community essentially apologizing for Apple.

    With a community like that, I move back to x86 oem land without any questions in my mind as I see Apple as we know has decided to be a toy company.

  50. Pandy06269

    Think of it like a dealership

    First off let me get this out there - I have a MacBook Pro bought a year ago, and an iPhone bought a month ago. I love them both, and won't be switching back to a PC or other smartphone.

    Like most people I really can't help thinking this is FUD at its greatest.

    The way I see it, it's like a car dealership. You purchase your bright, shiny motor from Ford or Nissan, and then you HAVE A CHOICE. You want to replace the original tape player with a CD/MP3 player.

    Dealers these days have a limited selection of CD/MP3 players that they have tried and tested with their models and know how to fit them (i.e. App Store.)

    However, you can buy a CD/MP3 radio from a much larger range from your local Halfords and either fit it your self, or have Billy's Mechanics Ltd fit it for you (i.e. traditional delivery methods.)

    The only difference is that your dealer (i.e. Apple) won't support yours or little Billy's handy work, but if the dealer made a cock-up (i.e. Apple approved a dodgy app) then it's their responsibility.

    I'm certainly not going to be rushing to return my MacBook to the shelf and go back to a cheaper, plastic, uglier Windows machine, as a result of this FUD.

  51. Marcus Fil

    Okay then

    Who is going to be first to register the "The CrApp Store" for all those apps Apple doesn't like?

    Seriously though people - stop and think: imagine a journalist suggesting that the only place to buy your pin-striped suit from now on was Primark. Might you consider that hype? Apple does not own my MBP nor does Primark own my body. I have choices and those choices remain going forward.

  52. Belvedere Mulholland

    Blimey... do calm down dear!

    Don't forget Sturgeon's Law... 95% of everything is crap. Have you looked at the App Store recently? There's no shortage there... and one can surmise that a very high proportion of apps bought are not, um, very good.

    Then again... the App Store does have some excellent apps. If your thesis was correct these wouldn't exist.

    But they do. You see?

    There is room for a market full of shite AND some nice stuff that clever people like me want. *appropriate emoticon*

  53. penguin slapper

    Mental illness.

    "Apps with metadata that mentions the name of any other computer platform will be rejected."

    Damn that's paranoid.

    1. Chad H.

      To be fair

      If you were a storekeeper would you allow advertising for you competitors on the products you sold?

  54. Anonymous Coward

    first nail in coffin

    sorry, but this sort of 'user control' is exactly the sort of thing to kill of a platform. - or, create a nice diverse ecosystem of piracy.

    i'm afraid that I believe this really is the first step to ALL apps coming from Apples store I predicted some time back - and warned when initial reports of Lion came through.

    MacOSX is going to become Consumer rather than Prosumer platform. and I'm out.

  55. James Gale

    This is progress

    As a Debian Linux user, one of the first disappointments I found when I bought a Mac was the sorry state of software management. Delivering a Linux or BSD distribution in the last five years without a standard mechanism for downloading, installing and updating "curated" software would be a joke. Up to now, Mac and Windows users just seem to have accept that each piece of software implementing its own update mechanisms is reasonable. The sad fact is that I currently rely on Firefox to notify me (after its own private update cycle) when I need to update Adobe's flash player.

    In the environment that today's computers exist in, the ad hoc management of PC software is not serving us. I agree with more transparency and fairness in the acceptance of applications than we have seen so far, but I think there is reason to be hopeful that it will happen.

    Frankly, I'm surprised that this didn't happen sooner. I'm sure Microsoft will try to follow suit, assuming this is as successful as I think it will be for Apple.

  56. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


    iTunes frequently hangs and consumes large amounts of CPU time with large music libraries because its use of multithreading is obsolete by about 20 years. It should be withdrawn from the online store.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It seems harmless enough in its current form - a platform for small developers to reach a large audience, but the minute I can only get programs like Logic and Final Cut only from an app store, I will be ditching my (much beloved) macs. I don't want that sort of walled garden in my professional life, and I doubt I am alone in this.

  58. Chad H.

    Hold on a sec - Every retailer does this!

    This is a massive overreaaction.

    Every retailer (or at least, every decent retailer) has certain standards and rules about what they are, and arent going to stock.

    Lets take Apple out of this, and instead look at your Local Supermarket and Pork Sausages.

    If you want to sell your Pork Sausages at the Supermarket, the Supermarket doesnt have to sell them if they don't want to.

    When they look at your product, they're going to take a lot into account: Is your product actually a pork sausage? What is the packaging like? What does it taste like? Do we sell Pork Sausages already and do we have room for another brand? etc.

    These guidelines from Apple are clearly the same: They want to make sure the products in their store are what they appear to be, they want them to be clear and easy to use, be of a certain quality and if they're already stocking a lot of one type of product, they may not feel the need to stock another without good reason.

    The only difference is, here Apple is being open and honest about what their supplier rules are - can you say the same for your supermarket?

    This is *only* a story because its Apple. All decent retailers have standards for the products they sell, only some bother to tell you what they are.

  59. Zeke Thomas

    Give me a break ...

    With as much as Apple has invested in and riding on iTunes, I can still use their storefront to discover music, then procure it by whatever means (legal or otherwise) that I prefer, and guess what? The songs will still play in iTunes. The idea that Macs will prevent their users from installing software sourced somewhere other than the App Store is ludicrous. Maybe Steve would prefer it that way, but he's far too astute a businessman to actually implement it.

    In other news, the sky is falling over western Canada ...

  60. Petrea Mitchell

    Sometimes complex *is* good

    No less an authority than Don Norman just got a whole book published on that topic:

    Requiring all GUIs to be "simple" is a recipe for user pain. Complexity isn't bad; it's poorly organized complexity that you want to avoid.

  61. Fintan
    Big Brother

    Anyone remember windows and the browser debacle?

    I see a lot of folks yapping about how people still have a choice to install software form other sources. Yea, of course they do.

    Just like MS including IE with windows, people still had a choice to install other browsers, but look how that went for Microsoft.

    This is apple pushing the boundaries yet again, to see what they can get away with. If the European Commission treats all companies fairly, then the 3 minute warning sirens should be screaming in the EU about now.

    Will be interesting to see if Apple get treated the same as MS did in the browser debacle.

    1. JonHendry
      Jobs Horns

      Oooh, good point.

      In addition to IE, consider how games never took off on Windows. Everyone had Minesweeper and Freecell, so they never bothered buying anything else. Whatever happened to John Carmack, anyway?

      And graphics programs... there was no market for graphics apps on Windows. MS Paint killed the competition.

  62. Christopher Cowan

    Apple HIG

    Neither Kai's software nor Poser broke the Apple Human Interface Guidelines, Apple-S still saved files, Apple-O still opened files. Both had main interfaces different from the usual software at the time such as Adobe or Macromedia but it is not a breach of HIG. Apple bundled Soap with Macs at the time so cannot have been that upset. Furthermore Meta produced an OEM version of Soap 2 for Apple for OS 9 which had an interface complete with drop shadowed candy coloured buttons and the grey lines in the background dialogs that were just like the Aqua look that later appeared in OS X, though that version of Soap was the work of Little Kai, not Kai Krause.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    Please, Reg, re-publish this same article...

    ... putting Microsoft and Ballmer in place of Apple and Jobs. I would like to read the comments afterwards! And see how many would write "it is ok, they would never lock the OS..."

    Face it guys, if the model work they will lock the place. Whichever company could make it, will make it. It's all about money, and a working lock-in ensures a lot of money - how is the "protection money" over the Apple store apps? 30%? Almost one third? I am not going to pay such amount - true mafia would be cheaper.

    In some ways MS is going to do the same - the Windows Live Marketplace for games, for example, I believe is going to be a nightmare.

  64. Anonymous Coward

    Invalid Comparisons with MS Explorer

    Why do people forget that it wasn't the bundling per se, rather the abuse of monopoly power that got MS into hot water? When a court rules that Apple holds a monopoly in PC operating systems, they too can be held to the same standard.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    good, bad, evil, the down dirty

    A central repository is a Good Thing, so long as it makes life easier for users. Think Synaptic, think Valet on Beos.

    A central repository policed by a known cult leader is a Bad Thing. Why? Because there are almost no checks and balances, greed being the prime motivation (and maybe a pinch of public image, but that's just a front).

    Anyway, it has the potential of killing or maiming diversity in the Apple(TM) corner of the OS spectrum, which would be sad. Apple devices are in general nicely designed and almost always well made. Would be a shame, really.

  66. StooMonster


    The excellent Pixelmator has already announced they're going to be on the Mac Store platform.

    So long as high quality apps like that get the coverage they deserve then there's a good side to this too.

  67. bugalugs
    Paris Hilton

    " Algernon, pass me the substances would you ? "

    Are we seeing opening moves in a shift from Plug and Pray,

    to Play and Pay ? Is Jobs attempting to leverage iPhone market

    impact into an OS " challenge ". Know it sounds stupid, that's cos it is.

    The real reason for the ubiquity of M$ OS has

    been its rapidish improvement of installation processes for the

    widest range of hardware possible. The rest of Wownids, if

    tightly configured, needeth not to sucks too much.

    Whilst Macs can be modified, the standard hardware set

    allows a streamlined and very functional OS. This has always

    been Mac's advantage, apart from lack of attention

    from the mass-malware-monkeys due to small market share.

    Mr Jobs has every right to open, operate and regulate his store.

    As I RTfA the store will sell, or give away, software for Macs,

    and will be as accountable as their EULA is challengeable.

    OS lockout of non-approved software ? We should be thankful M$

    have an even bigger problem.

    @ Justin Clement 201011011141, the Harrod's analogy is a nice one.

    But did you buy your HOUSE from Mr Fayed ?

    @Jess201011011140, ALL corporate fucktonspurts* are ambiguous.

    @ JonHendry201011021054, there's almost nothing you can't do in Paint, mate !

    *uncontested El Reg meta-BS-measure,

    application lodged 20101007 ( on behalf of @Hangon AIR )


  68. yuriushakov

    Apple Police

    Just thought that Steve Jobs should ask Chris Rock to make a movie about How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked By Apple Police.

    Something along the lines of, "Guidelines are like hints. Like, when somebody tells you `I wouldn't place that checkbox here if I were you'."

  69. Jeff 11


    I doubt Jobs would fuck his professional userbase and Mac software industry by preventing them from installing apps outside Apple's managed ecosystem. The growth in Mac market penetration is still fragile and I don't see the point in preventing those users sourcing their own apps from doing so. Even if they tried, jailbreaks would be even less possible to prevent than on the iPhone - and with an OS that's orders of magnitude more complex and accessible, I doubt it would take much effort to achieve.

    Also, doing this would break legacy apps that Macs and businesses continue to run, quite successfully.

    So if that's true, the whole point of your article is moot - consumers will happily buy from an easy to use app store, while the rest of us happily remove the app store icon from our docks.

  70. bex

    If your user interface is complex or less than very good it may be rejected."

    thats Itunes down the pan then

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