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The Mac App Store is not as popular as the iOS App Store, not by far, but it’s an important part of the OS X experience since Apple is implementing features it introduced in iOS into OS X. The Mac App Store is typical Apple and epitomizes Steve Jobs’ idea about a computer, that it shouldn’t be user upgradable, and the entire experience should be controlled by the company because it believes it knows better than the consumers. Mountain Lion’s new Gatekeeper sandboxing feature only adds to this notion under the idea of security.
Unfortunately, the traditional computer software distribution has never been controlled in this way and the major players are still sitting this one out. You can’t download Office for Mac or Adobe’s Creative Suite from the Mac App Store for example, or Parallels Desktop and VMWare. One can argue that the market is moving away from them and perhaps it is but right now, these software programs are still serious businesses.
The iOS App Store works so well because iOS is a brand new platform, it doesn’t carry preexisting notion as to how it should behave and how people should develop for it. The OS X environment on the other hand, is very mature. if Apple wants to get rid of the old ways and adopt the iOS model hands down, it’s going to see a lot of push backs. Postbox’s recent exit from the Mac App Store exemplifies this.