AppStore: Another game-changer

I remember the good old days — heading to the computer store, buying software on cassette (I turned 44 yesterday, so I’m not that old).  I still recall waiting in line for Atari cartridges.  Later, the no-name computer store was replaced by Egghead, 3.5” floppies, and eventually GameStop and CDs.  I remember Tower Records and gradually building my CD collection, disk by disk (I took a while to get all the Led Zeppelin albums).

Well, times have changed and I couldn’t be happier.   And just as fewer and fewer of us head to the store to by CDs, same is true of software.  Software, not hardware, makes a platform successful.  Witness Microsoft’s glory days.  For a while now, it’s been Apple’s turn.  When the iPhone saw its debut, I looked at my wife and said, immediately after reading the details, “it’s the apps.  That’s what will do it for this thing.”  300,000 apps later…  I think I made an obvious point.  The iPhone would not be nearly as good if it had only the limited (though good) set of applications created by Apple.

The Commodore 16

Now, it’s time for software to follow suit.  Download times are reasonable.  Documentation is on-line.  Free trials are have been downloadable for a while.  But the App Store for Mac is not just about a new distribution model.  With a clear profit motive in sight, developers,  all sorts of developers, now have a way to build product, release it to the public, and make money with it.  Apple will maintain a level of quality, let the best applications float to the top based on a ratings system, and make a TON of money in the process along with the application creators.  Life couldn’t be better.

Expect a tsunami of software development on OSx, Objective-C, XCode and all.  I can’t wait to see what great things people create and will happily open my wallet for products that deserve it.  Bring it on.

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