Jan 06 2011
So the Apple Mac App Store opened for business today. Or so they say, because I cannot use it. This is all that my Mac sees from the App Store:
Not bad for a first version. In good old Apple tradition, “it just works”…
I got it running, but the bloody thing doesn’t work well.
First, I had to re-download and re-install Safari 5, because apparently something was broken on my Mac since the 10.6.5 update (and 10.6.6 Combo did not fix it). After the Safari 5 re-installation, the AppStore no longer crashed and I could finally use it.
Things the AppStore did properly identify as installed on my Mac:
- Aperture 3
Things it did not recognize:
- The entire iWork suite
- Omnigraffle Pro
- A bunch of other installed stuff on my computer that is also available in the AppStore
Since it recognized my retail version of Aperture 3, this leads me to an academic question: Do I now have a downgraded version of Aperture 3? Because the license in the AppStore says that I can use Aperture on all Apple-branded computers that I own (aka personal use). I think when push comes to shove, many lawyers will have a lot of fun fighting about this wording in a court of law once an AppStore version of Aperture 3 is used in a studio by somebody who does not own the computer on which it is installed (aka commercial use). Since the retail box that I bought explicitly allows for commercial use, but the AppStore now “took over” that license, I think this whole thing entered a gray legal area, which needs to be clarified by Apple.
Another thing is that Apple destroyed the resell value of the boxed software. And yes, here in Germany, we CAN legally re-sell used software, thank you for asking.
And reselling is a big issue with the entire AppStore concept: Of course, Apple does NOT want anybody to sell their software or transfer the license to somebody else. The AppStore takes that option away from the customers, forcing them to spend more money on software on the long run. Heck, even Valve’s Steam store allows license transfers (aka “gift”). Edit: I guess I was mistaken here; you can only gift new Steam purchases, not already purchased products.
The tight integration of the AppStore in the OS is another thing. If Microsoft had done something like that, they’d have to take a lot of hostile fire. Apple still gets away with it because of their tiny market share. Personally, I think they should not be allowed to bundle iTunes and the Mac AppStore with their computers. If people want to explicitly download, install and use that software and those stores – fine, it’s their choice. But for the same reasoning why Microsoft is not allowed to do these things, Apple should not be allowed to do it either.
Besides all that, I have to join the chorus of some other posters on the web: There is nothing interesting in that AppStore that I don’t already own, and a lot of interesting stuff that I do own is not in the AppStore (yet). This might quickly change, but unless they get the big ones like Adobe and Microsoft (and Ableton and Propellerheads and, and, and) on board, the AppStore will remain a nice try. On the other hand, I hope that the AppStore won’t become a huge success — Apple would be too tempted to turn the Mac into another Walled Garden.