Apple has announced that its Mac App Store will be open for business on January 6th next year.
The on-line marketplace for the Cupertino company's OSX operating system will operate on the same model as the successful iTunes App Store for iOS4 devices, allowing simple purchase, download and updating of oodles of Apps from third-party developers and Apple itself.
It's a massive roll-out for Apple with 90 countries in on the action at launch, though there has been no indication thus far of how many Apps will be available on day one, or if any of them will be any good.
Developers will get the same 70/30 split of revenues as their iOS counterparts, will not be charged for the distribution of free apps, and will incur none of the hosting, marketing or credit card costs normally associated with third-party software distribution.
"The App Store revolutionised mobile apps,” proclaimed Apple patriarch Steve Jobs. "We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun. We can’t wait to get started on January 6.”
Steve is, of course, using the term 'PC' in its loosest possible sense. Windows users won't be getting a look-in.
It's a massive move for Apple and could close one of the few remaining perceived gaps between Mac users and their Windows-toting contemporaries, that there's comparatively little software available for the Mac platform.
Expect a couple of thousand Apps at launch, and a massive rush of the good the bad and the downright ugly in the coming months.