Apple is hoping to recreate its success with iPhone apps on the Mac platform.
Taking a page from its successful iPhone model, Apple on Thursday officially opened an online store from which consumers can purchase and download Mac applications.
The Mac App Store is now available to shoppers in the U.S. and 89 other countries. There's apps—both paid and free—in a number of categories, including games, education, graphics & design, lifestyle, productivity, and utilities.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the Mac App Store will do for the Mac platform what the App Store did for the iPhone. "With more than 1,000 apps, the Mac App Store is off to a great start," said Jobs, in a statement. "We think users are going to love this innovative new way to discover and buy their favorite apps," he said.
To download the Mac App Store client software, users need ensure they're running Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) v10.6.6.
Some of the apps already available on the site include offerings from Ancestry.com, Boinx, and Autodesk. "We are delighted to bring our professional grade paint and drawing app, Autodesk Pro, to the Mac App store on its first day of launch," said Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, in a statement.
"We've seen tremendous success on the Mac, iPhone and iPad with multiple apps. We're excited to offer Sketchbook Pro on the Mac App Store so artists can easily create everything from quick sketches to high-quality artwork right on their Macs," said Bass.
As with the iPhone store, developers who sell their apps through the Mac App Store will get to keep 70% of the profits. They also do not have to pay any hosting, marketing, or credit card processing fees.
Apple is counting on the strategy to lure developers away from Microsoft's Windows ecosystem, which is under pressure from iOS and Android-based tablets and smartphones.
Still, Windows continues to own more than 90% of the PC operating system market, with the Mac—despite all the recent buzz around Apple—holding a stake of just over 5%. Jobs is doubtless hoping the Mac App Store's opening will boost that number.
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