The idea of Apple bringing its iOS App Store concept to the Mac has been widely anticipated as a step that would make it easier for users to find and install software, keep their software up to date, greatly reduce software theft (thereby allowing developers to charge less while enjoying higher volumes of sales, just as they have in the iOS App Store) and encourage a rich economy of software development on the Mac in the same way the App Stores for the iPhone and iPad have.
The fear however, voiced by some, is that such a store would prevent Mac users from obtaining software from other sources, prevent the use of older software titles that were not designed to be sold through the store, and perhaps result in new issues over Apple's level of control over Mac software, much as some have worried that Apple is already exercising too much control over its iOS App Store.
To extinguish these fears, Jobs noted that the new Mac App Store won't be the only way to obtain new software; it will only be a new option, "the best," Jobs said.
The iControl is raging on @ Apple and coming to a Mac near you within the next 90 days. Scary!
There are a number of obvious problems:
1- The reason why there are so few developers and software titles on the Mac is not "software theft", but low market share, 5% world market share caused by higher Mac prices, less choices of options and models as a result of the "one size fits all" approach to reducing Apple manufacturing and inventory costs, and the steadfast refusal to licence Mac OS X (or the iOS) to competing manufacturers (No, Apple was never "a software company" contrary to what Steve Jobs just said);
2- "software theft" should be defined as overcharging for an application that does nothing more or nothing better than the applications you already have, especially if you plan only an occasional, limited personal use;
3- The danger of trapping the market by encouraging every developer to use and "benefit" from the Mac App Store so that established developers refuse to release their software outside of the Mac App Store;
4- The occasional unpaid use of software at home or in school is part of learning, akin to using shareware. Software used at work, to gain income, must be paid for as developers rely on royalties to gain their own income, but software used at home for personal purposes in a non-commercial way should be free or mostly free, just like software used in school. Successful developers (like Microsoft) often donate their software to schools, public libraries and not-for-profit organizations.
Once you pay for internet access and computer use, the use of internet is mostly free. Outside of businesses, software should be either free or mostly free (e.g. shareware which you pay "if it's worth it").
The opposite view, now adopted by Apple, is that anyone who has ever listened once to any music (or ringtone, etc.) should pay through the noze for their "sin" so that music executives (not artists...) can enjoy lavish lifestyles for little, if any effort.
I regret to say that if the trap materializes, if the Mac App Store becomes the only way to get and use software on the Mac, I will advise my friends to stay with Windows PC computers and rejoin the Windows crowd as I will always choose freedom over control and entrapment.
By the way, did Apple ever determine how many potential customers they lose by insisting on the App Store for iOS iPhones and iPads? The inability to choose my own software is definitely a good reason to stay away from the iPhone and, possibly, the iPad.
Negatives add up. All the reasons for not buying a product add up.
90% of computers run on Windows. There are many reasons for that, including the possibility to choose what software to use.