Apple’s Mac App Store is going to be exactly like the iOS App Store, with one subtle difference: it’s not going to be the only place that you can download your applications from.
We assumed that meant no demos, no trials, and no betas will be allowed on the store. Do those things exist on the iOS store (lite versions may be considered trials by some)? It was pretty obvious when Apple made the Mac App Store announcement: if you want any type of beta, you’re free to distribute that software in any way you see fit, just not on the Mac App Store.
Frankly, we don’t want betas, demos, and trials on the Mac App Store. It’s bad enough that the iOS store is filled with half formed applications out to grab cash. Steve Jobs doesn’t joke on stage, and when he said that only the best of the best would be allowed on the Mac App Store (crappy apps need not apply), it was pretty obvious that betas, trials, and demos were not included in that description.
This was BIG great news back in October.
How many people really care about beta software outside of the journalist and geek circles? What benefit would Apple have from shipping partially complete applications to consumers looking to purchase finished products? The Mac App Store will exist because most people hate the current software purchasing paradigm. Apple doesn’t want to port the old system to the new system because the old system is broken for the people who will clamour for the Mac App Store. Some of us will still run off to a developer’s website and make a purchase there, while others will go for the simplicity of the Mac App Store. Those of us who go to the developer’s website directly are probably the only people looking for beta software.
The Mac App Store needs to be the best of the best. Demos, trials, and betas need not apply.