Another blow to boxed software: Apple brings its App Store to Macs

Traditional software seems pretty unsexy nowadays, compared to what you can find in mobile app stores. So it’s clear why Apple announced today that it will be bringing its App Store, developed for the iPhone and other mobile devices, to the desktop.

In other words, Apple has created a new gateway for folks selling software for Macs. As with the App Store on other devices, users will be able to download apps with just a click, and there will be free and paid apps (revenue from the paid apps will be divided 70-30 between the developer and Apple). Apps will include automatic updates and will be licensed for use on all your Mac devices. You will be able to open App Store apps in full screen mode, and to access and arrange all of them through a feature called Launchpad.

What does that mean for traditional software on the Mac? It’s not totally clear. Chief executive Steve Jobs emphasized that when it comes to finding apps, the App Store “won’t be the only place, but [it'll] be the best place.” Certainly, if the App Store becomes the main way to get software onto Macs, that could create even more concerns about Apple’s approval process.

Apple made the announcement at its “Back to the Mac” event today. In addition to bringing the App Store to the Mac, the company said it is also bringing out improvements to its own iLife desktop suite.

While the App Store was included in the announcements for OS X Lion (the upcoming version of the Mac operating system), it will also be available for the current version, Snow Leopard, in the next 90 days.

[photo: Dean Takahashi]