After the successful launch of the Mac App Store it is no surprise to read that Apple are considering removing software packages from shelves in their retail stores. For years I've started at the software displays in Apple Stores and never bought anything. I've always preferred downloading direct from the publisher; and now the App Store makes things even easier.
Apple will lead the way in this, as in many things, and the era of retail software sales is coming to an abrupt end.
This is yet another example of the accelerating move away from the physical to the digital. It has already happened in the music industry as CD retailers teeter on the brink. It is starting to happen in book sales and, increasingly in movie rentals. I just love renting films from Apple on my two Apple TVs and I now have no interesting renting physical DVDs or, still less, in buying them. Who would have thought this five years ago? And what will happen in the next five years?