.:The Ideal Blog

Apple as “Software Government”?

With the advent of Apple’s App Store for the iOS platforms (iPhone & iPad), Apple has not only a monopoly, but also the right to dictate what software is available to consumers while collecting a 30% fee. This model has yielded billions for the company and enabled many small developers to be discovered in a virtual sea of applications. This idea of an App-store is so lucrative and popular on mobile devices that Apple is bringing it back to the Mac in their new Operating System “Lion”.

The direct downloads from the internet have proven a revolutionary distribution system, lowering the cost for packaging and shipping of physical software. Online distribution, however fragmented, still has a way to go to be perfected and needs a unified way of discovery, purchase and download. The following reviews the positives and negatives of this centralized App Store offered by Apple:

The Positives:

  • Eased distribution for developers and consumers
  • Potential for developer based software stores reduced and or eliminated
  • Centralized Software Updates
  • Software Discovery Model similar to Apple’s “Genius” feature
  • Unified login, payment, and download method
  • Better quality control of applications

The Negatives:

  • Apple control flow of apps, licensing, updating
  • Reduced developers control of retail
  • Potential Price Markup to cover 30% fee from Apple
  • Potentially inhibition of developers and software
  • BigBrother awareness of your installed applications

Apple, a company who has built its fortune on open technologies has a clear goal for a monolithic, closed, proprietary, centrally-controlled, environment of software and hardware. The future of development on the Mac platform is at a crossroads, and only the future holds the answer to the best course to travel.

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