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Amazon takes on Apple's Mac App Store with its own 'Mac Download Store'

post #1 of 70
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Amazon on Thursday launched the "Mac Download Store," a new software destination for Mac OS X system that takes on Apple's own App Store by offering unique products, including Office for Mac.

Amazon's new Mac Download Store launched Thursday with more than 250 titles, including software related to productivity, finance and games, as noted by The Loop. The new digital storefront even offers applications that are not found in Apple's Mac App Store, including the Office for Mac suite.

"Mac Download store features an install-less download process where the customer gets just the product without any unwanted extras, making for faster and easier purchases," Amazon said, promoting the new service. "Plus, downloads are conveniently backed up in your Games and Software Library where you can download an unlimited number of times for personal use."

In addition to Office, titles available on the Mac Download StoreMac Download Store include QuickBooks, H&R Block, Roxio Toast 10 Titanium, BioShock, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Amazon is also offering a $5 discount on software purchased through the store through June 1 with the code "SAVE5MAC."

The storefront stands in opposition to Apple's own Mac App Store, which is currently available for users of Mac OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard and later versions. The Mac App Store will also be an integral part of Apple's forthcoming operating system update, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.



Amazon's new storefront is similar to the approach the retailer took with its own "Appstore for Android," which launched in March. Though the Appstore for Android, Amazon sells applications for Android-powered mobile devices, and competes with Google's own official Android Market.

Amazon has been very aggressive against its competitors with low prices, sometimes at a loss to bring in customers and generate interest. This week, Amazon sold Lady Gaga's new album "Born This Way" for just 99 cents in an effort to push its own Cloud Drive music streaming service, and take sales away from Apple's market-leading iTunes Music Store.
post #2 of 70
This came out of nowhere. And how did they get Microsoft? I want Apple to have Microsoft.
post #3 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Amazon on Thursday launched the "Mac Download Store," a new software destination for Mac OS X system that takes on Apple's own App Store by offering unique products, including Office for Mac.

Amazon's new Mac Download Store launched Thursday with more than 250 titles, including software related to productivity, finance and games, as noted by The Loop. The new digital storefront even offers applications that are not found in Apple's Mac App Store, including the Office for Mac suite.

Although the idea of a "Store" I guess is new, Amazon has been doing commercial Macintosh software downloads for a while. I bought Turbotax from them last year and got the electronic version because it saved me $10. I think its a great idea if we get savings out of it!
post #4 of 70
Its a rebrand more than something new, but just one more example of Amazon creeping into this whole ecosystem that Apple has dominated for so long. They have music, tv, movies, books, audiobooks, an app store and most definitely new tablets and maybe even new phones in the future.

Amazon, quite honestly, has become the first real competitor to Apple that targets the entire ecosystem first, rather than push out hardware with nothing else to back it up. Very interesting =).
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post #5 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post

Its a rebrand more than something new, but just one more example of Amazon creeping into this whole ecosystem that Apple has dominated for so long. They have music, tv, movies, books, audiobooks, an app store and most definitely new tablets and maybe even new phones in the future.

Amazon, quite honestly, has become the first real competitor to Apple that targets the entire ecosystem first, rather than push out hardware with nothing else to back it up. Very interesting =).

And they have an advantage in that they can be (for the moment) open to all OS's for PC's, where as apple will obviously never have a Windows software DL store.

With the kind of volume that they could generate that way, its hard to imagine them not being able to beat apple in terms of pricing for software.

As far as execution, we will see, but I can't imagine there will be much of a differential there.
post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post

Its a rebrand more than something new, but just one more example of Amazon creeping into this whole ecosystem that Apple has dominated for so long. They have music, tv, movies, books, audiobooks, an app store and most definitely new tablets and maybe even new phones in the future.

Amazon, quite honestly, has become the first real competitor to Apple that targets the entire ecosystem first, rather than push out hardware with nothing else to back it up. Very interesting =).

Build the ecosystem first, hardware later? Could prove interesting as they seem to be building it the right.
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post #7 of 70
Who would have thought Amazon would be such a big thorn in Apple’s side? Of all their hats this seems like the least effective venture but if they can get Mac App Store titles then I think it could work. What I don’t understand is why Amazon doesn’t have a Windows app store.
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post #8 of 70
I tipped you guys a while ago about this, what ever happened to that?
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post #9 of 70
Do they charge sales tax? I think Apple is now charging sales tax on apps but not music. Anyone have the details? I'm in California.

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post #10 of 70
If Amazon does this right -- doesn't limit it to Snow Leopard / Lion, etc., allows incremental/OEM upgrades instead of making us download the entire app+installer again from the store just to fix a bug -- they could do well here.

And frankly, as Apple has made such a mess of it and has been utterly unresponsive to Leopard users... I hope Amazon really makes some inroads. I'll be happy to support them. I'm really kind of peeved at Apple, frankly; first the horribly incompatible Snow Leopard, then the jump away from Leopard users, then the SL-only app store, now Lion wants, apparently, to turn my desktop into my iPad with modal(!) full-screen applications... lately, Apple's really left a pretty sour taste in my mouth.

Luckily, Leopard is a pretty good release, and I feel no pressure to upgrade. And as a developer, Leopard is a better target than Snow Leopard or Lion; you get a much broader customer base.
post #11 of 70
It's just another way to buy and install software. More convenient than buying the CD, but the future upgrades are not identified and delivered to you like on the Mac App Store. I think it'll be a popular store, but not as robust as on the Mac App Store.
post #12 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This came out of nowhere. And how did they get Microsoft? I want Apple to have Microsoft.

They have Microsoft, because they have no rules. Microsoft can be in the Mac App Store if they play by the rules, as can Adobe. They just don't want to (so far).
post #13 of 70
This is only a good thing for Apple users. What's the first thing people mention as to why they don't buy a Mac? Lack of software. Whether that is true or not, especially today, the perception is still there. Part and parcel of changing that perception is not just to get more software out there, but to make it more visible. People seeing an entire Amazon business line dedicated to Mac software will help that.

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post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post

If Amazon does this right -- doesn't limit it to Snow Leopard / Lion, etc., allows incremental/OEM upgrades instead of making us download the entire app+installer again from the store just to fix a bug -- they could do well here.

And frankly, as Apple has made such a mess of it and has been utterly unresponsive to Leopard users... I hope Amazon really makes some inroads. I'll be happy to support them. I'm really kind of peeved at Apple, frankly; first the horribly incompatible Snow Leopard, then the jump away from Leopard users, then the SL-only app store, now Lion wants, apparently, to turn my desktop into my iPad with modal(!) full-screen applications... lately, Apple's really left a pretty sour taste in my mouth.

Luckily, Leopard is a pretty good release, and I feel no pressure to upgrade. And as a developer, Leopard is a better target than Snow Leopard or Lion; you get a much broader customer base.

This entire post sounds like raving nonsense to me. Are you sure you are a developer? I'm thinking you just play one in your dream life.
post #15 of 70
It's not an "App Store" in the way that most Apple users think of it: it's only a download site, like CNet. This doesn't in almost any way make any competition to Apple's Mac App store.
  • No app that serves as a central repository, just a webpage
  • No central automatic updating system
  • Horrible interface for browsing: only good if you come in knowing what you want
  • Downloads are standard install packages such as you can get on any developer's website, not simple "all-in-ones"
  • Did I mention ugly?
  • If I'm not buying from the Mac App Store with its advantages, it's because it's either not available there or I can get it very cheaply when in a bundle. Neither of these times will I think of going to Amazon.
Looks like fail to me.
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post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

They have Microsoft, because they have no rules. Microsoft can be in the Mac App Store if they play by the rules, as can Adobe. They just don't want to (so far).

Well, to be fair, they probably simply have different rules. Microsoft can be in the Mac App Store if Apple updates their rules to allow them, as can Adobe. They just don't want to (so far).

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post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post

And as a developer, Leopard is a better target than Snow Leopard or Lion; you get a much broader customer base.

This chart would say otherwise:

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post #18 of 70
Two home run posts for Smiles77. Nice job.
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post #19 of 70
I did notice they were careful not to try calling this an App Store tho
post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj

goes off to install Amazon app store on his Mac

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Just got back from their store and you're right. It's not at all like the Mac App store.

A man of integrity. Yes, it's not an app store. It's just a website with downloads.
post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

This chart would say otherwise:


No, the original comment was correct because apps developed for Leopard are generally compatible with Snow Leopard.

Snow Leopard = 68% base

Leopard = 24% + the 68% from Snow Leopard = 92%

92% > 68%

Therefore Leopard is the better target.
post #22 of 70
Btw at first glance in the Amazon store, the prices seem really expensive. I won't buy a download of a product if I'm not getting a significant discount from the price of the retail boxed version.
post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

No, the original comment was correct because apps developed for Leopard are generally compatible with Snow Leopard.

Snow Leopard = 68% base

Leopard = 24% + the 68% from Snow Leopard = 92%

92% > 68%

Therefore Leopard is the better target.

I see your point and I can agree with your arguments. However, if the OP had meant that Id expect him to have qualified his statement to that point. Without the qualification the OPs implication does seem to be that Leopard has a larger installed base than SL.
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post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

No, the original comment was correct because apps developed for Leopard are generally compatible with Snow Leopard.

Snow Leopard = 68% base

Leopard = 24% + the 68% from Snow Leopard = 92%

92% > 68%

Therefore Leopard is the better target.

I wouldn't say his comment was really correct as you shouldn't first code for Leopard and then ensure support for SL and Lion, but rather code for the latest release(s) and then look into providing legacy support as needed. That ensures optimal code running for the users most likely to want/need/(that are willing to pay) for the latest features while not alienating your other users. It will depend on the requirements and performance of your app to decide how much legacy support you give.
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post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I see your point and I can agree with your arguments. However, if the OP had meant that I’d expect him to have qualified his statement to that point. Without the qualification the OP’s implication does seem to be that Leopard has a larger installed base than SL.

ditto
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post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

It's not an "App Store" in the way that most Apple users think of it: it's only a download site, like CNet. This doesn't in almost any way make any competition to Apple's Mac App store.
  • No app that serves as a central repository, just a webpage
  • No central automatic updating system
  • Horrible interface for browsing: only good if you come in knowing what you want
  • Downloads are standard install packages such as you can get on any developer's website, not simple "all-in-ones"
  • Did I mention ugly?
  • If I'm not buying from the Mac App Store with its advantages, it's because it's either not available there or I can get it very cheaply when in a bundle. Neither of these times will I think of going to Amazon.
Looks like fail to me.

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post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Well, to be fair, they probably simply have different rules. Microsoft can be in the Mac App Store if Apple updates their rules to allow them, as can Adobe. They just don't want to (so far).

If it's the 30% commish they're worried about they can just put their products on the Mac App Store at a markup to cover Apple's share. There is nothing inherent in the App Store that the 30% can't be passed on to the user.

If it's the other restrictions such as not spewing files all over the system, I'm sure MS Office could keep all it's fonts and what not inside it's own app bundle and still work fine.

I think the problem is that Apple are using the same growth model they used with the iOS app store, where they just provide the ecosystem and sit back and let the magic happen. But with the Mac App Store there is already a competing ecosystem and they need to do some work to woo people over. I'm sure users would appreciate it if they did.
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post

If Amazon does this right -- doesn't limit it to Snow Leopard / Lion, etc., allows incremental/OEM upgrades instead of making us download the entire app+installer again from the store just to fix a bug -- they could do well here.

From what it looks like, they won't provide updates at all. It will be up to each application to update itself.
post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post

If Amazon does this right -- doesn't limit it to Snow Leopard / Lion, etc., allows incremental/OEM upgrades instead of making us download the entire app+installer again from the store just to fix a bug -- they could do well here.

And frankly, as Apple has made such a mess of it and has been utterly unresponsive to Leopard users... I hope Amazon really makes some inroads. I'll be happy to support them. I'm really kind of peeved at Apple, frankly; first the horribly incompatible Snow Leopard, then the jump away from Leopard users, then the SL-only app store, now Lion wants, apparently, to turn my desktop into my iPad with modal(!) full-screen applications... lately, Apple's really left a pretty sour taste in my mouth.

Luckily, Leopard is a pretty good release, and I feel no pressure to upgrade. And as a developer, Leopard is a better target than Snow Leopard or Lion; you get a much broader customer base.

I'm not particularly excited about Lion, but SL had fantastic upgrades to the kernel and the GCD APIs for multithreading that gave a significant performance boost - I saw rendering speeds increase by about 30% across 4 cores on an unmodified app. I get that it wasn't a thrilling end-user release, but that's why it was $30 - get some performance improvements and some application UI tweaks & performance improvements as well. I wouldn't target Leopard just because setting up solid threading is so much easier now with blocks and the other threading API improvements. (And yes, I did use various threading APIs before, but Apple really hit the nail on the head with the SL release... and with machines largely having 4+ cores nowadays, that's worth having.)

For Lion, on the other hand, the Dashboard that doesn't appear over the desktop seems incredibly irritating - when I use the widgets, I often want to refer to an email / web page in the background to read data out of, and putting it on the 'left' screen really kills it for me. The removal of colors also doesn't really excite me. :/ (Uh, I mean from seeing leaked screens, of course.)
post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What I dont understand is why Amazon doesnt have a Windows app store.

I imagine a Windows App Store is in the works, but they don't have the infrastructure in place to handle that much traffic. It's one thing to have millions of people browsing your website for birthday gifts, but playing online download source for every PC user in the world would require quite a bit of ground work. It seems like they just don't want Apple to get too big of a jump on the Mac App store like they did with the iPhone App Store.

As for Amazon and Microsoft, they have been sleeping together in the Northwest for a long time. Working out little promotions here and there. I'm not surprised to see Office available at Amazon. After all, that's where most people would have purchased it for their Mac anyway.
post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

For Lion, on the other hand, the Dashboard that doesn't appear over the desktop seems incredibly irritating - when I use the widgets, I often want to refer to an email / web page in the background to read data out of, and putting it on the 'left' screen really kills it for me.

That is a preference setting in one of the controls panels (can't remember which, saw it on the web).
post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

For Lion, on the other hand, the Dashboard that doesn't appear over the desktop seems incredibly irritating - when I use the widgets, I often want to refer to an email / web page in the background to read data out of, and putting it on the 'left' screen really kills it for me. The removal of colors also doesn't really excite me. :/ (Uh, I mean from seeing leaked screens, of course.)

That is a preference setting in one of the controls panels (can't remember which, saw it on the web).

Uncheck "Show Dashboard as a Space" under Mission Control.

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post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

If it's the 30% commish they're worried about they can just put their products on the Mac App Store at a markup to cover Apple's share. There is nothing inherent in the App Store that the 30% can't be passed on to the user.

Are you suggesting that there are no costs to pay when delivering software in normal retail channels? Of course there are. Apple's cut for distribution is probably in line with what other retailers charge.
post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Well, to be fair, they probably simply have different rules. Microsoft can be in the Mac App Store if Apple updates their rules to allow them, as can Adobe. They just don't want to (so far).

Yeah, I was just trying to be brief.

Specifically the "no serial numbers" rule, and the "no software suites" rule are what stops Microsoft and Adobe from being in the Mac App store.

I'm happy with the Mac App store rules though. The only software that's excluded is all stuff that I can't stand for one reason or another. Mostly because it's old or poorly designed or both.

The days of the "giant integrated software suite that tries to do everything" can't end soon enough for me. I also think that places like Adobe and Microsoft are making a foolish move in sticking with the suite of apps approach.
post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

No, the original comment was correct because apps developed for Leopard are generally compatible with Snow Leopard.

Snow Leopard = 68% base

Leopard = 24% + the 68% from Snow Leopard = 92%

92% > 68%

Therefore Leopard is the better target.

It would make more sense to target Snow Leopard and then do whatever is necessary after the fact to "make it work" on Leopard.

Targeting an old OS is like building mediocrity into your product on purpose.
post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Are you suggesting that there are no costs to pay when delivering software in normal retail channels? Of course there are. Apple's cut for distribution is probably in line with what other retailers charge.

No, I'm suggesting that whatever differences in distro costs exist or don't exist, it shouldn't factor in to MS's decision. If there is a difference just pass it on.
post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Specifically the "no serial numbers" rule, and the "no software suites" rule are what stops Microsoft and Adobe from being in the Mac App store

Good point! And the unlimited installs on all the machines you own...
post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

No, I'm suggesting that whatever differences in distro costs exist or don't exist, it shouldn't factor in to MS's decision. If there is a difference just pass it on.

I don't know much about retail, but I don't think that's the way it works. If it did, you'd see the same products priced differently in different outlets. Instead, what we usually see is a fixed retail price.
post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

No, I'm suggesting that whatever differences in distro costs exist or don't exist, it shouldn't factor in to MS's decision. If there is a difference just pass it on.

Doesn't work without raising your price everywhere as the Mac App Store rules state that all apps must have a price equal to or lower than anywhere else distributed. This means a developer who before charged $20 for their app must now sell it for $28.57 to make the same amount in profit. Most users don't look kindly to that kind of a price hike.
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post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

I don't know much about retail, but I don't think that's the way it works. If it did, you'd see the same products priced differently in different outlets. Instead, what we usually see is a fixed retail price.

It wouldn't be the same product in the Mac App Store though. It would have an all the additional advantages the App Store provides.
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