Skip to comments.Apple's Mac App Store fundamentally changes PC software usage rights
Posted on 01/07/2011 10:16:46 AM PST by stripes1776
Earlier today, Apple officially launched its application store for Macintosh, with about 1,000 free and paid applications available. Snow Leopard users download the Mac OS X 10.6.6 update, and the store is included. But people using the software are in for a change. Consumers typically buy software by machine. Those people buying from the Mac App Store purchase by person. The software is attached to an identity. This is a dramatic departure from how consumer software is typically licensed.
Licensing agreements typically restrict installation on one PC, sometimes two or even three...
The Mac App Store changes the paradigm and usage rights associated with it. Buyers use an existing Apple ID (usually from iTunes) or create another. Software purchases are tied to that identity, not the PC. If a licensee buys another Mac, he or she can redownload the software using the same ID without paying again. People buying music from iTunes or apps for iPad, iPhone from iTunes are used to this kind of identity approach, but it's not common for computer software.
The rights are hugely generous and more in line with consumer expectations: That they buy software once and use it anywhere within the household. According to the Mac App Store FAQ: "Apps from the Mac App Store may be used on any Macs that you own or control for your personal use." Emphasis: Any. Not three Macs, or five or any other number. Considering that most software is licensed for one PC -- although many developers probably don't have realistic expectation of 1:1 installation -- any is quite a change. Something else: applications purchased from the store do not require activation keys, registration numbers or serial numbers. Only the Apple ID and password are required.
For the Apple, with a limited customer base and distribution channel, this is indeed a game changer. Developers have had to put an awful lot of effort into getting the word out about their apps, and even more effort into getting it distributed by someone other than themselves.
This has always been an issue with Macs, which initially had leverage into the marketplace by piggybacking onto Apple // software sales, but since the 1990’s has struggled to get even basic apps into the marketplace at large.
I wish Apple the best, and am excited for Apple owners who finally have easy options available to them, without having to transplant a geek into their livingroom to find the software.
A thousand titles.. For a lot of Mac owners, that’s the largest collection of software that’s been available since the days of BBSs.
Same principal they use for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.
But its only for the Mac and its only for those who wish to use it. Downloading it yourself is still allowed. This merely frees the developer from expensive overheads.
pinging Swordmaker. Interesting shift in paradigm for software ownership
The App store will Torpedo Microsoft. Apple is certainly more innovative than Microsoft who always seems late to the game. Windows 7 is great, but why did it take them so long?
It's great to see this put on the Mac. This is like a little preview of Lion which should be coming out this summer. I am really looking forward to the next version of OS X.
Yes, it's really interesting to see all the great things Apple is doing these days. I'm a fairly new Mac owner, less than a year, but I am really impressed.
I’ve been using PC’s for years, and never had trouble moving/reinstalling my software over to the new machines.
I’m not sure what’s so revolutionary about this concept.
As the article points out, most software today requires an installation through an activation key. The license to use that software is identified with a particular machine, not the person who bought the software. The license may be for one or perhaps up to three machines.
With the Mac App Store the purchase of software is identified with the person who bought it. The right to install and use the software is not tied to any particular machine, but rather to the person who bought it. That means you can install it on any machine you want. So all you have to do to install on any machine is check in to the Mac App Store, and if you purchased the software, it will download and install. There is no limit to the number of machines you can install the software on.
A user will still be able to install software the old-fashioned way--buy a CD or download it from a website. But the Mac App Store is more convenient to use. The Store is an application on the Mac, not a website. So a user does't need a CD drive to install. This is why the new MacBook Air laptops don't have a DVD/CD drive built in.
Adobe (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) let’s you simply deactivate the license on your old machine and install and use it on a new machine (or on a couple of machines). Pretty simple process. I don’t think there’s anything I’ve ever had to purchase again just because I moved to a new PC (which I do about every 3 years).
Exactly. Adobe, like most software today, requires a license that is restricted to a particular machine at the time of installation. To use it on another machine, you have to deactivate the license for one machine, and reactive the license for a different machine.
Mac App Store works quite differently. There is no license. Software is not associated with any particular machine. The software a user purchases is associated with that user. The user can then install that software on any number of machines. There is no license to deactivate on one machine and then reactive for a different machine. Simply install it on as many machines as you like.
There are also no CDs/DVDs. Everything installs online. But if a user prefers the old-fashioned way, software can still be installed that way.
It works differently than what you’re used to. And, it’s done by Apple. Therefore, it is revolutionary and game changing.
I use Windows. If I needed software (and of course I never never do) I could go to Pirate Bay and download it for free.
That’s not new at all. I have Windows, and for years, software has just been available.
It seems like mac has just set up a new website to download software, am I right here? And it’s great, especially to people who like the way mac does things.
And I get that apple knows exactly who you are and what software you have. People thing that’s a great thing. I’m not sure why people need a bunch of expensive macs in their house, and why they need photoshop on every one of them.
But this is definitely a bonus to those people who have multiple macs in their house, want photoshop on all of them, but don’t have a minute to type in a serial number or an activation code, but do have the time to download the software from the internet over and over.
Without seeing it, i’m sure that the mac store is “cool”. Apple stuff typically is. Cool and typically much more expensive.
Well, you still have to authenticate yourself to the store in order to gain access to your software download. Whether that's done via a license key, username/password or some other piece of personal information is really not much of an issue. In any case, you still have to tell the store you are the owner of the software.
I really don't see how this is any sort of "game changer", since software portability isn't really a new concept.
You're license for Photoshop restricts you to how many machines? The apps in the Mac App Store have no restrictions on the number of times you can install the app once you purchase it. Also you don't need to mess around with activation keys. You also have a list of all the apps you have purchased in one central location.
Now let's see. Where did I put that CD for MS Office? And where is that CD for Photoshop? It must be here someplace. Excuse me why I go search around the house for those.
As for a central "store" for all products, I guess that's nice too... assuming that every product you use is available there. As for me, I simply have a box where I keep all my original CD's in. That works fine for me.
If that box works for you, that's fine. But let's say you have 10 applications on your old computer and each applications has a license for just one machine. And of course each was activated with a long and unique key.
So you buy a new machine. So get out your box of CDs and deactivate each application on the old machine, each with a unique key. Now reinstall each application with that unique key on the new machine. So what do you do with the old machine which doesn't have any of your favorite applications on it? You could always buy a license for more machines for each application. But of course that means 10 phone calls or logging into 10 different websites.
So lets say I bought 10 productivity applications on my older Mac, all from the Mac App Store. When I buy a new machine, I go to the App Store. It shows me a list of all the apps I have purchased. So I click on the install button, and it installs all my apps on the new machine. Everything just installs while I attend to other tasks. There was nothing to deactivate. I didn't have to use 10 different keys. And I still have use of all the applications on the old machine.
I would call this, to use the words of the article, "a dramatic departure from how consumer software is typically licensed". But if you are particularly attached to that box of CDs, that's fine.
As a matter of full disclosure, I'm probably not the typical PC user. I have over 30 years experience in IT. I've installed/maintained/upgraded/moved mainframe operating systems, headed a project to roll-out over 500 IBM AS/400's with various applications on them, designed applications to be installed on hundreds of remote shopping mall machines (PC's), and so on. I've also been buying computers for my personal use/education since the days of the TRS-80 model I.
Anyway, whatever makes it easier and cheaper for the end-user is fine by me.
If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.
This is how it should be. The machine-based approach always have pissed me off.
The same goes for music. If I buy a CD the rights to that music should be mine no matter where or how I choose to play it.
Kudos to Apple.
Software theft isn't new. The app store isn't about stealing software. There are additional risks with using peer to peer like the Pirate Bay because while you're filesharing your IP address is out there, and that's how RIAA has caught a lot of people who steal music. There is also the risk of either a virus or a trojan being included in the download. I know there are ways to hide your IP and check the program for infections.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.