Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody
Several people have pointed out that it's something that customers would want to get in their store (Office), but I think you're looking at it wrong when you talk about how popular it is. As the main article tells us, even if it was at the top of the list, the total amount of sales is minimal in dollars and cents. The only reason to keep it is for the customer assurance, not the money or the sales.
That being said, I know Microsoft has talked (and talked and talked) about delivering their software online for many years and I remember reading articles from five years ago that talked about it being just around the corner. Now that Apple has beaten them to it (again!), I would expect that even if they aren't in the Mac app store, they will find some way to offer it online.
Microsoft Office is a key (and profitable) application for Apple to sell... because it's a key program for millions of their customers... and Apple (rightly) wants happy customers.
Apple's share of the WW computer market while growing, is still small, so to attract new customers Apple need them to be confident that they can continue to access and share their documents. Office gives them that assurance (and certainly in the new Office 2011 version, is way better at doing so than using iWork).
Apple make money from Office, both by selling it... (their cut of the margin) and more importantly to them, by selling Mac's.
NB. you're incorrect to say Apple beat MS (or many other firms) to downloadable software - you have been able to buy Office and many other programs online for years (visit the Microsoft Store for example:http://store.microsoft.com/microsoft...e/category/203
What Apple has done is combine SW sales into one single (Apple controlled) store - tightly integrated to the OS. That has benifits in terms of ease of access - but drawbacksa in terms of product range and choice. (the current Apple licencing prevents bundles like Family packs etc).
All in all, the Mac App Store is a good idea, but still in it's early stages and needs time to evolve (and Apple needs to lighten up on some of the restrictions to convince vendors that it's actually a good thing to support it).
One final thought, Mac App Store isn't available everywhere in the world - so it's a no go for many markets Apple wants to grow in... and bandwidth isn't freely available either to many... not everyone has the luxury of living in West Cost USA.
Boxed software will continue to co-exist with download for some time.
final final comment!.. spare a thought for the poor specialist Apple reseller... Mac App Store takes away a significant part of their sales revenue... and makes offering good service harder. That does not help Apple (or customers) in markets where they have yet to develop much of a direct store chain. (which is most of the world outside USA & UK).