Tomorrow's launch of the Mac App Store in 90 countries will transform the market for OS X applications. Not only will it make buying and installing apps just as easy as it is in the iOS App world, it will give an incredible boost to software developers who will have a ready-made presence and digital store. No longer will developers need a web site, a means of issuing and maintaining registration codes and a way of taking money. Instead, in return for a commission, Apple will do all that for them and they will see their sales rocket.
I suspect that only a relatively small proportion of Mac users ever buy additional software other than, perhaps, a copy of iWork. Only the dedicated among us read magazines, blogs and tech sites and learn about the growing number of useful applications. This used to be the case, for instance, with smartphones such as the Palm or the iPAQ when buying and installing applications, not to mention coping with upgrading, was a frustrating experience.
The App Store for iPhone and iPod touch was a revolutionary idea and I imagine even Apple has been astounded by its success. It has done more than anything to promote and popularise the iPhone. There can't be an iPhone owner who has never purchased at least one app. I think the same phenomenon will apply to the Mac App Store, although on a lesser scale. But it will achieve a similar revolution in encouraging all Mac owners to dabble with interesting and useful software. In turn, this demand will fuel a great surge in app development, just as we've seen with the iOS platform, and the Mac world will be all the better for it.
I'm looking forward to my first trawl round the store when it goes live tomorrow.