Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amazon Challenges Apple With Mac App Store

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the it's-a-wide-river dept.

Software 111

CWmike writes "Amazon launched a Mac-specific application download store on Thursday that will compete with Apple's nearly five-month-old Mac App Store. The new subsection of Amazon's massive online store, dubbed 'Mac Software Downloads,' kicked off quietly Thursday. Amazon has long offered software downloads for both Windows and Mac customers, but this was the first time that the company called out its Mac-centric 'store.' The retailer, however, apparently did not want to goad Apple into another legal battle by mimicking its rival's 'App Store' moniker: The two companies are already in court over Amazon's 'Appstore for Android,' which Apple claims violates its trademark. Unlike the Mac App Store, which Apple opened in early January, Amazon's includes the popular Office for Mac line from Microsoft."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Walled garden (0)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261420)

Apple don't need a legal battle, they could just pull the DRM plug.

Re:Walled garden (0)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261496)

What DRM plug? Apple has no way to stop people from downloading software from a website.

Re:Walled garden (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261510)

Despite not owning any Apple products, I could imagine them pushing a silent update to all devices that simply blocks the site in question. Or starting to sign their software cryptographically, and making sure their systems only accept valid signatures. Or any other way, actually...

Re:Walled garden (3, Informative)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261558)

Mac users have been able to download software from websites ever since the first modem became available for the Mac. This has never been a problem for Apple, so why start now? Not saying it's impossible, but IMO very unlikely.

I don't think it is unlikely (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261980)

there are many hints in the upcoming Lion version of the OS of a further tilt towards the iOS look and feel. With iTunes offering the Mac App store and following the same model as used for iDevices it is not hard to imagine that OS X changes enough to where it requires "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES" that you use only iTunes to load software onto your Mac and "JAILBROKEN" Macs will not be eligible.

I know, they can't force people to upgrade to that version of the OS. Sure they can't directly, but indirectly they will. They will add features to the mac that people want as well as exploit the mindset that exist in the Apple community.

I think my iMac is great but I am getting closer each day to believing it is the last Mac I will ever buy.

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (1)

Whiternoise (1408981) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262036)

I think Apple's reluctant reaction to the recent malware outbreak shows that they don't give a wet slap where people download software from.

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36262438)

You mean the same malware that they are going to detect and remove in a future update?

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36263852)

I think Apple's reluctant reaction to the recent malware outbreak shows that they don't give a wet slap where people download software from.

"You didn't download programs solely from us like Friend Steve asked you to in scripture. Therefore, it's no longer our responsibility and we're not helping you out. Thanks for emailing us, and remember, we're different from how Microsoft was, and we're better than they are!"

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (1, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262048)

there are many hints in the upcoming Lion version of the OS of a further tilt towards the iOS look and feel. With iTunes offering the Mac App store and following the same model as used for iDevices it is not hard to imagine that OS X changes enough to where it requires "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES" that you use only iTunes to load software onto your Mac and "JAILBROKEN" Macs will not be eligible..

FUD

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262908)

With iTunes offering the Mac App store and following the same model as used for iDevices it is not hard to imagine that OS X changes enough to where it requires "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES" that you use only iTunes to load software onto your Mac and "JAILBROKEN" Macs will not be eligible.

It's not hard to believe? Try to imagine taking OSX and disabling the ability for any un-signed executables or scripts to run.

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36263178)

Microsoft is now blocking any unsigned device drivers. Getting them signed requires payment and approval of MS. That's at least the camel's nose.

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36263300)

Blocking unsigned drivers and preventing apps from executing are two very different animals.

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265422)

By default yes, you can always allow unsigned drivers if you would like to. It is YOUR option and it is easy to do and supported. MS is not using the signed driver program as a source of income or a form of lock in.

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264002)

It's not hard to believe? Try to imagine taking OSX and disabling the ability for any un-signed executables or scripts to run.

And that would be fine. As long as it was a toggle. I would love a version of OS X that really locked the system down ala the iPhone. Not for me, but for my wife anyone else who doesn't want to deal with the computer being a computer. Kinda of live Parental controls on steroids.

Re:I don't think it is unlikely (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264126)

No, you don't understand, the OS wouldn't be able to run.

iOS was designed with a user experience that's locked down. OSX was designed with a user experience that's totally not locked down. It'd be like trying to make Legos that'd only fit together in pre-approved designs.

I could see Apple making an iOS Macbook, but I can't see Apple taking OSX and making it approved-software-only. It wouldn't work. I don't mean it wouldn't be successful, I mean it wouldn't work.

Re:Walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261590)

Maybe you could imagine that, but that does not mean it is even remotely likely.

All it means is you have an over-active imagination, fed by nonsense on the internet.

Re:Walled garden (1)

OS2toMAC (1327679) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261798)

Despite not owning any Apple products, I could imagine them pushing a silent update to all devices that simply blocks the site in question. Or starting to sign their software cryptographically, and making sure their systems only accept valid signatures. Or any other way, actually...

That would be one way to start a myriad of lawsuits. Apple, or any other hardware/software manufacturer, can not start blocking sites willy-nilly. It would be considered a free-speech violation most likely, but particularly, in this case, anti-competitive. The Feds would be on them in a second. And talk about the bad PR. Even for iOS products, while they may make it very difficult to get 'non-Apple approved' software on the devices, there are jail-breaking methods available. I think Apple may always keep a back-door open like that, to get around any future anti-competitive, or anti-free market claims.

Re:Walled garden (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261888)

Despite what a lot of people seem to believe, it is 100% legal in the US for an NGO (including a private company or person) to censor speech.

Re:Walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261912)

It would be considered a free-speech violation most likely

Apple isn't quite a government body so the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not apply. A private entity can censor at will.

but particularly, in this case, anti-competitive. The Feds would be on them in a second.

Yes, anti-competitive, but such isn't inherently illegal, especially since they do not have a monopoly on the market. In the United States most likely nothing would happen. In Europe it would be a very different story.

Even for iOS products, while they may make it very difficult to get 'non-Apple approved' software on the devices, there are jail-breaking methods available. I think Apple may always keep a back-door open like that, to get around any future anti-competitive, or anti-free market claims.

Apple doesn't keep "jail-breaking" around for any purpose. "Jail-breaking" is just a candy-coated term for exploiting the device using an unpatched security vulnerability that allows for arbitrary code execution. In the specific case of "jail-breaking" that vulnerability is used to patch the firmware to remove various DRM checks, but it could do pretty much anything. When Apple invariably gets around to fixing that vulnerability someone finds another one to exploit. It's not an act of benevolence; it is a demonstration of poor security. Makes you wonder what else could be exploiting that same vulnerability.

Re:Walled garden (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261982)

Apple, or any other hardware/software manufacturer, can not start blocking sites willy-nilly. It would be considered a free-speech violation most likely, but particularly, in this case, anti-competitive.

Anti-competitive, quite possibly, but free speech is an idea that applies to the government only. Private companies have no requirement to allow free speech at all.

Re:Walled garden (1)

kokojie (915449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261992)

wait, what? "free speech violation"? private entity can censor anything at will, for example your company's firewall probably block majority of naughty websites.

Re:Walled garden (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261954)

It's just a disk image (DMG). The closest thing in the Linux/Windows world is the .ISO. However, unlike Windows, disk image mounting is built into the system as shipped by Apple. If you double click a DMG it just mounts. You can even create your own disk images that are encrypted (like True Crypt).

A ton of software for the Mac comes on DMGs. It makes copying install CDs rather easy on the Mac. It gets a real /dev/ device, to software it doesn't know if it's on a disk image or a real DVD.

All it sounds like is Amazon is a payment processor and providing bandwidth.

Re:Walled garden (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262312)

It's just a disk image (DMG). The closest thing in the Linux/Windows world is the .ISO. However, unlike Windows, disk image mounting is built into the system as shipped by Apple.

It's built into Linux too, of course. We DO use ISO images for this purpose, because they are commonly used for this purpose, and there's no particular reason to use anything else at this stage. The only think keeping the average user from mounting any loop filesystem on Linux is a lack of gui support. So in Linux land the ISO is not "the closest thing", it is one of several things which are equally as close.

Re:Walled garden (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264536)

Can ISOs be sparely populated? Can they be created RW? Can they have built in encryption with the OS?

Re:Walled garden (1)

Roobles (1880882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265386)

In Linux, you're not limited to mounting ISO's. You can use the program dd to read in from /dev/zero and create a file of any arbitrary size. You can then run makefs to install whatever file system you want on that file (getting features like encryption, journaling, data deduplication, etc.) Partition it with fdisk, and from there you can mount it as a loop device as though it was any disk. It's more work to create, and requires a bit more understanding of disks/filesystems. But all of the tools are there for it on pretty much any distro you could come across.

Re:Walled garden (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265742)

Yes, I've done dd if=/dev/null of=disk1 bs=1M count=1024. mkfs.ext3 disk1.

But can you make them sparseimages, dynamically expanding.

Re:Walled garden (1)

Roobles (1880882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266146)

There is a trick in dd to creating sparse files which should let the virtual disk dynamically grow, while not actually using up all of its pre-allocated space. This would be accomplished by changing your dd command to:

dd if=/dev/zero of=disk1 bs=1 count=1 seek=1024M

But I personally have not tried this, and my understanding is that it's not well supported by a lot of common utilities. So I believe it can be done, but in most cases it's not well recommended.

Re:Walled garden (1)

npsimons (32752) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265928)

Yeah, we've had loop-back filesystems in UNIX/Linux for quite some time. Of course, the handy thing is that we can pick any filesystem we want, including ones with case sensitivity. We've even got filesystems in userspace to have all sorts of cool things like encryption or Flickr "filesystems". It's not automatic in the GUI (that I've seen); perhaps that's something I should work on . . .

Re:Walled garden (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266054)

However, unlike Windows, disk image mounting is built into the system as shipped by Apple

Actually, Windows 7 has loopback mounting - you can mount VHD files (Virtual PC / Hyper-V disk image format) with any supported file system. You can even boot from those.

You can't mount a VHD just by double-clicking it, though, like you do with DMG in Mac. There's a command-line utility, and then there's "Attach VHD" in Disk Management, but you have to know they are there.

Re:Walled garden (1, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261974)

Despite not owning any Apple products, I could imagine them pushing a silent update to all devices that simply blocks the site in question. Or starting to sign their software cryptographically, and making sure their systems only accept valid signatures. Or any other way, actually...

You know what helps against that ? Wrapping your computer in tinfoil. In fact, you should save some to make yourself a hat too, just in case...

Re:Walled garden (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262088)

I'm pretty comfortable on Windows, to be honest. Not an Apple user, never plan to be, and for my XP, there's always torrents. :)

Re:Walled garden (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262512)

This raises the question: is this just a pilot program meant to test the water before they make one available to Windows? We all know that Windows 8 will come with a store, though there's no reason Amazon could pair up with MS to, say, single out Windows XP's "inadequacy" by releasing the store only for Vista and newer, a la IE9 / DirectX 10+.

One thing we sorely need is more equality with Smartphone software, however hard it may be: Microsoft purposely designed MS MOBI barcode reader [gadgetvenue.com] without any Windows/PC releases whatsoever, though barcodes are only a picture away if you lack a smartphone. Newspapers advertisers and columnists seem to think *everyone* has smartphones rather than cheap phones. We don't: a recent story showed penetration in the USA has only now reached 50%, leaving a hefty half of the cellphone market out; let alone those with just landlines.

So the Application environments are becoming even more like competing video game consoles where you must have bought precisely the one the target product is on. Worse, it's like saying "oh, you have a mac/linux/windows, so you can't use this free product this minute." So besides of the issues like "Android implementation fragmentation" we are being transitioned into tomorrow's DRM markets under our own PCs. Seeing the new enthusiasm of formerly penny-less shareware writers cashing in on simple tiny apps, I predict we will start running out of the rich environment of Windows-only freeware obtainable from the web. At least there will be fewer viruses... but there will be much fewer marketless downloads too. TPM at its worst.

Re:Walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264058)

Funny to see how Microsoft can yet again "invent" something that already not only exist in two other formats, they're already used on product packaging:

Re:Walled garden (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262948)

Despite not owning any Apple products, I could imagine them pushing a silent update to all devices that simply blocks the site in question.

You can 'imagine' it because you get your Apple headlines from Slashdot.

Re:Walled garden (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262136)

What DRM plug? Apple has no way to stop people from downloading software from a website.

They don't now. Who's to say what they have in mind for their rumoured ARM based Macbooks? They might lamely claim that they need to "curate" apps because it's a new platform hence locked down to the app store and before you know it the same thing happens to all new macs.

Re:Walled garden (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262902)

I don't see Apple splitting their Mac market into Intel and ARM offerings. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot, offering a computer for which all software must be recompiled.

Re:Walled garden (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36263804)

I think its quite likely that if Apple go through with an ARM mac that they'll release tools so devs just build the one time to LLVM and the same code will run on Intel or ARM with no changes. It means recompiling what they have now but going forward it makes apps completely architecture agnostic. Think about the potential of that - no reliance on hardware architecture means they can ship on what's most appropriate / cheapest and there is no lock-in. LLVM is far more elegant than the fat binary approach they took with the PowerPC -> Intel transtion.

Re:Walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264156)

You mean like they didn't go from 68K to PowerPC, then from PowerPC to intel?

Or the switch from Mac OS to Mac OS X?

There's two good reasons for Apple to jump to ARM-based computers:
1. battery life
2. if 95% of the users only use 10% of their intel CPUs, then it's not important that ARM isn't as powerful as x86.

Re:Walled garden (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265392)

You'll notice that those switches were whole hog: they didn't sell PPC and 68k machines next to each other. They did during the PPC-Intel transition, but only briefly, and again using an emulator to run PPC software. The switch to OS X was done by allowing people to run old software in an emulator.

I don't see them going with an ARM and then wasting 50% of its processing power running an x86 emulator.

Re:Walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261530)

Or they could rely on the fact that every Mac is an advert for Apple. The newer OSX versions include a rather prominant link to the Apple App Store, and users are lazy.

Oh, for chrissakes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261860)

Apple DOESN'T. Okay? DOESN'T.

Not 'don't'. Doesn't. Apple IS a singular entity, not to be described as a group when you speak of the company. Just like Microsoft IS, or Amazon IS. Not ARE. IS.

I don't know why 'slashdotters' have this tendency to do that. It sounds stupid.

Ask yourself this: Do you see 'Microsoft are' or 'Apple are' on any professional written communication by the mass media or journals? No. You do not. You'll see 'Microsoft is', or 'Apple is'.

Stop describing companies like that - it's silly, and it's incorrect.

Re:Oh, for chrissakes (2)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262578)

In the US, you're correct. In the UK, my understanding is that they typically use the plural for conglomerations.

Not an app store (4, Insightful)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261436)

Apple's App Store provides a centralized update mechanism. Amazon's store is just a website.

Re:Not an app store (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261498)

Um, the lack of that doesn't make it not an app store.

Re:Not an app store (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261622)

Um, the lack of that doesn't make it not an app store.

Agreed, the centralized billing/account managing system is what makes it a store.

Re:Not an app store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36262782)

Yea but the lack of that makes it not worth using.

Re:Not an app store (2)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261778)

Granted, that's a difference that might steer a customer to one or the other store, but they are both software stores. The Mac App Store just offers more ancillary features (automated updating, centralized authentication, easy installation on all of your computers, some amount of vetting, etc.). Some like those features, and others do not. The important thing here is that you now have 2 big vendors (arguably trustworthy) selling mac software through a highly visible virtual storefront. It's a win for consumers that want choice, or software that isn't compatible with the App Store restrictions. Nobody looses in this situation from my perspective.

Re:Not an app store (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261840)

Most decent software updates itself now...though I suppose the idea of the app store is that we get crammed with tons and tons of cheap shovelware.

Re:Not an app store (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261874)

"Apple's App Store provides a centralized update mechanism. Amazon's store is just a website."

Kids, let this be a lesson to you. This is what happens when you give yourself over completely to corporate marketing.

"Apple's App Store provides a centralized update mechanism. Amazon's store is just a website."

Stunning.

Opposite take, not a marketing point (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36263114)

Kids, let this be a lesson to you. This is what happens when you give yourself over completely to corporate marketing.

The ability to easily update applications from a central mechanism is the one aspect of an app store that is most emphatically NOT a bullshit marketing point, it's a feature as a buyer that I love and a real reason to choose buying software from an online store.

Now I don't think it's what defines a store either, the Amazon store certainly is an app store... but if I had the choice I'd buy from the app store that would help manage distributing updates, just because I really do tend to update more often when a system like that is in place. Before I go on a trip I can do one check for updates instead of having to run 20 applications to have them each check if they need one.

Re:Opposite take, not a marketing point (1)

Brannoncyll (894648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36263278)

Really? If you don't use a piece of software frequently enough that it's automatic update has failed to patch it past beta stage, are you really going to need the latest version when you're traveling? And where do you go that there is no net connection to update said important piece of software in a "OMG I really need $important_software version $latest RIGHT NOW!" moment?

Re:Opposite take, not a marketing point (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36263470)

Really? If you don't use a piece of software frequently enough that it's automatic update has failed to patch it past beta stage, are you really going to need the latest version when you're traveling?

Yes, because I tend to use a different set of applications when traveling, and it's annoying to find I could have been using an updated version.

And where do you go that there is no net connection to update said important piece of software

Airports and airplanes are the big one of course, but I do some overseas travel where it can at times be hard to find an internet connection (if you travel outside big cities). But even with an internet connection if the update is large it can take a while with some hotel internet systems which can be dog slow.

But even independent of that, I like not having to wait for an update to complete when I run an app, instead I choose a time when the system can update a whole set of apps when I have free time and a good connection.

Re:Not an app store (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262248)

It's a store where you buy applications. Hence, "app store".

Re:Not an app store (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266224)

It is a store? really? I have some applications I'd like to sell them. I bet they will turn around and make a killing of them! Wait, whats that? They don't actually buy any apps? How do they stock their store? Oh, you mean they just broker a deal for the dev? Like a Realtor? That would distinctly mean they ARE NOT a store then huh?

Gee timothy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261446)

I thought Michael was back when I saw this unnecessary piece of propaganda posted to the front page.

Shame on you

This is doomed to failure (-1, Flamebait)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261458)

This is doomed to failure right out of the gate. It's not blessed by Saint Jobs, so no true Apple fanboi will buy from it. If the fanbois won't use it, who will? Only heterosexual blue-collar Mac users with real jobs. AND THERE AREN'T ANY OF THOSE.

So give up, Jeff. It's money down a rat hole.

Re:This is doomed to failure (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261548)

This is doomed to failure right out of the gate. It's not blessed by Saint Jobs, so no true Apple fanboi will buy from it. If the fanbois won't use it, who will? Only heterosexual blue-collar Mac users with real jobs. AND THERE AREN'T ANY OF THOSE.

Nice flamebait. I'm a heterosexual blue-collar Mac user with a real job, as are many of my co-workers.

There are several other Mac software download sites, though they are mostly game-oriented. In any case, the only problem with Amazon's download store that I've seen is the prices aren't very good. I don't know why any of these software publisher expect me to pay the same for a download as physical media?

Re:This is doomed to failure (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261684)

probably because physical media is worth about 2 bucks.

Re:This is doomed to failure (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261594)

That's like saying not to bother selling Mac software on a store shelf, either.

People will buy from this, but only if it makes sense. It has to be cheaper or better in some way than the competition.

Plus, they're already running something similar for software/games for Windows. This is probably just an extension of that and doesn't cost that much. I doubt it'll take much profit to break even.

Re:This is doomed to failure (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261628)

This is probably just an extension of that and doesn't cost that much. I doubt it'll take much profit to break even.

If anyone orders software this way, they're already making money because they don't have to take up floor space for inventory or spend money on shipping. They probably get good rates from UPS, but still if they save $3 per transaction, that can add up quickly.

Re:This is doomed to failure (1)

Troll_Detector (2205022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261660)

*BEEP* *BEEP*

Cut (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261466)

What cut does Amazon take? Seems like in this situation Amazon would want to differentiate from Apple if they will have other vendors/apps not found in the Apple app store.

Re:Cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261526)

What cut does Amazon take?

It varies depending on what lines they want to push, elasticity of demand etc. Some products they probably take a loss on in order to lure customers in. Others they'll look for healthy profits on. Exactly as if they were an established retailer with many product lines. Because they are.

Re:Cut (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261674)

The storage and bandwidth obviously aren't free, so they presumably take a nonzero(on average, might be negative on some products, exorbitant on others) cut; but there doesn't appear to be a defined "cut" across the board.

The main differentiation between Amazon and Apple, in this case, appears to be that Apple has tight integration with the OS and itunes payment system, plus an update mechanism; but demands relatively strict compliance with their standards. Amazon, on the other hand, uses the amazon payment mechanism, and is willing to offer for download pretty much whatever installer you were already slapping in cardboard boxes.

Barring a swift move to iOS-ize OSX, Apple will likely scoop up most of the crossover iOS devs, and the indies, while Amazon will serve as an easy "sure, we offer that by download as well" sale outlet for companies more comfortable with shipping boxed software and/or not using Apple's revelation-of-the-month coding and API standards.

I'm lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261602)

Who do we hate more, Amazon or Apple ?

Highest Form of Flattery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261682)

If you can't innovate, imitate.

It's a shame because Amazon was once a leader but to now watch them do nothing but follow is just sad.

Amazon Not An Underdog (3, Insightful)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261712)

Apple provoked this. Apple released a tablet and is trying to do with books what it did with music via iTunes. Google has also provoked this. Amazon is smart enough to not sit around selling paperbacks to college kids.

Nobody really thinks about Amazon as a powerhouse. They always look like the underdog. But, they are the undisputed kings of online sales. They may not really know tablets, even though the kindle is wildly successful. They may not know personal computers. But they do know online sales and they definitely know software. Between their search algorithms which are arguably the best ever based on user data and their datacenters, they have an extremely powerful base to move into the Web 3.0 space of SaaS.

They've been selling online content successfully via the kindle. They understand wireless sync, cloud, and 1-click sales. They also know how to work with publishers on par with Apple's dealings with the music industry. So, rather than bashing them as a late comer, Google and Apple had better show it a little respect. It quite possibly may be the leader in this game. And if Apple ignores their direction and momentum, like RIM ignored Apple for so long, Apple will find itself trapped in an Amazon walled garden.

If Apple is a design genius, Amazon is a sales & distribution genius. This looks to be a wonderful match up!

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261864)

They've been competing with each other for good while now with iTunes and the Amazon MP3 Store. It's a pretty logical extension of Amazon's business to sell everything online that can be sold online.

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262054)

By "provoked" you mean both companies are launching products and services that they think their customers want, then yes, Amazon and Apple and Google provoked this. Seriously Apple and Amazon have competed with and partner with each other since the beginning. During the holiday season, Amazon's top electronic sellers have been iPods. This next step is just moving the distribution from physical to the internet.

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36263082)

Nobody really thinks about Amazon as a powerhouse.

Seriously? Some of us have been viewing Amazon as a moderately evil powerhouse since the day they got the 1-click patent to stick. The amount of stuff i end up buying from Amazon, even knowing the dangers inherent in that dependency, seriously disturbs me. I try to spread out my shopping to some other stores, but we really need one or two other "sells everything" sites like Amazon so there's some serious competition going on.

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264534)

To most people, if you say "Amazon", all they think is "books". The in-the-know geeks know them for EC2, and understand Amazon has some Skynet master plan going on. But Amazon always seems to look like they are playing nice. They'll make their apps work on everyone elses phones and tablets, and they'll be coy, and not come out with a real color tablet. I think that makes the average person underestimate just what they do. Even their product launches are very low key events, and nobody is screaming "Ooo, what do you think the next Kindle will have?" Their predictability has lulled companies around them to sleep, almost laughing at them with their lackluster consumer products, and they like it that way.

Underneath, even beyond what we see, I imagine them to be rather ready to feast on the dead carcasses of Apple and Google. I personally root for them. They seem to focus more on what the customer wants, rather than going, "Look how impressive we are, join our cult following!"

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265764)

To most people, if you say "Amazon", all they think is "books"

This is absolutely not true anymore. In fact I would say it's basically the opposite now: the least tech-savvy people I know are unaware that Amazon used to only sell books.

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265962)

...they'll be coy, and not come out with a real color tablet. I think that makes the average person underestimate just what they do.

The odds of them coming out with a non e-ink tablet are pretty long. Part of the draw of the Kindle is the massive battery life; until they can offer that in the same e-ink format, I don't see this happening. The Kindle is focussed on book-reading first instead of second, and it shows, both in good ways and bad.

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264422)

Web 3.0, seriously?

I mean there's so many sorta absurd little comments in there I can pick out (mixed with a few decent points, I admit), but come on.

Exactly how is an online store Web 3.0 -- or even vaguely SaaS for that matter? (Not to mention the question, since when was SaaS a "Web 3.0" thing, whatever the hell Web 3.0 is?)

There's nothing revolutionary or even new here. Amazon always sold mac software. Now they include a mini-portal among the many other mini-portals they have to bring together the mac software they sell into one place.

Also, this is not a really good time to tout Amazon's sales & distribution genius, with the whole Lady Gaga sale thing laying waste to their whole system.

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265118)

If Apple is a design genius, Amazon is a sales & distribution genius. This looks to be a wonderful match up!

Amazon has many many strengths and is a formidable competitor (for such a large company they are very nimble). About the only two larger and nimbler companies are Google and Apple, however.
Apple is the king of premium. They can sell anything at a premium (see Apple battery charger) and can decommoditize and disinter-mediate nimbly. They are a serial disruptor of markets. Tim Cook also knows a bit about distribution (and beat Dell at their own game).
Google is the king of free, and owns the bleeding edge. From Google Voice to free navigation, Google's beta's are often better than competitor's years-old services... and hundreds of millions of people depend on google on a daily basis.
Amazon may be a very strong entity but it's playing with giants that are themselves agile and strong. Best of luck to Amazon.

Their name is also worth a lot (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265446)

They routinely top pools for the highest customer satisfaction and best customer service. They have a lot of goodwill with people because they do what is needed to make things right for the most part.

Well that makes their stores attractive. People may say "Well I'd rather buy my stuff from Amazon because I trust them more."

They are a company to be taken seriously.

Re:Amazon Not An Underdog (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266128)

I'm actually very surprised by how rapid Amazon's uptake has been lately. They've almost brought the price of Kindle down to $100. Then there's Amazon Appstore, something that Android desperately needed - a large app store backed by a major player with some premoderation (so that obvious malware and other similar crap doesn't get in). Then Amazon MP3, which became the first online music store that let me re-download purchased tracks as many times as I want. Now the rumors of upcoming Honeycomb tablets, at prices ($350 for 7", $450 for 10") that indicate an all-out price war with Apple in this segment.

Good News (1, Interesting)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261740)

I find it funny that some think Apple will feel threatened by this. The Mac App Store is a recent addition, before that the vast majority of Apple software was not purchased through Apple. Outside if Apple titles (iWork, iLife, etc.), I've only purchased 3 programs through Apple's website or Mac App Store. The rest are purchased from individual vendor's websites, or someplace like Amazon. As the Mac installed base grows, there will be more than enough sales to go around for both of these stores to exist. Especially since some of the titles on the Amazon store cannot be sold through the Mac App Store due to incompatibility with the stores limits on what the app can do (Office comes to mind).

According to some reports, Amazon has been selling these downloads for a while, but has only recently decided to create a sub-store to highlight their availability. Kudo's to them, because I didn't even know they offered downloads of Mac software! This is a big win for consumers because competition breeds better services, lower prices, and greater visibility for the platform. Most mac fanbois, especially those from the dark pre-OSX days, will applaud this as a "Good Thing TM".

Re:Good News (0)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261920)

Who says Apple feels threatened ? Seems to me like Apple's AppStore have already had the beneficial effect of making the competition improve their offerings. A win for consumers and so indirectly for Apple as well.

Re:Good News (0)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262086)

Some of the earlier comments were along the lines that Apple would try to block the site out of fear of competition. See this one for an example here on /. 36261510 [slashdot.org] .

I also saw several "Serves Apple Right" comments on other sites. I think the majority of people will see this as the good sign that it is, but there are always those willing to believe that every corporation is as monopolistic as say MS. Apple makes the lions share of their per user profit when said users buys the machine itself. The software money is gravy. Everyone likes gravy, but mashed potatoes are good without it too.

Re:Good News (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266142)

Apple might not feel threatened by that alone. However, Amazon seems to be testing their defense on several directions at once - there's Amazon Appstore, and then there are the upcoming tablets clearly priced to undercut iPad.

It'll be interesting to see how this goes in long term.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261750)

When the App store first appeared, I did a quick check of software I use to see how much of it I could've found on Mac's App store. Answer: not much. Missing were Jedit, Aquamacs, Chronosync, Copywrite, TeXshop, Sibelius G7, Cyberduck, and PageSender. Some of that software is FOSS, but not all of it. And much of it I found using good ole' Google.

An alternative to the App store is a good thing - I can appreciate its convenience but also want variety and choice.

Re:Good (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261900)

When the App store first appeared, I did a quick check of software I use to see how much of it I could've found on Mac's App store. Answer: not much. Missing were Jedit, Aquamacs, Chronosync, Copywrite, TeXshop, Sibelius G7, Cyberduck, and PageSender. Some of that software is FOSS, but not all of it. And much of it I found using good ole' Google.

An alternative to the App store is a good thing - I can appreciate its convenience but also want variety and choice.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jedit-x-standard/id405161345?mt=12 [apple.com]
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cyberduck/id409222199?mt=12 [apple.com]
The only hit on Amazon are books and a "Currently unavailable" G7 Kontakt Edition.

Makes Me Sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261832)

"The retailer, however, apparently did not want to goad Apple into another legal battle by mimicking its rival's 'App Store' moniker"

but apparently slashdot editors did "Amazon Challenges Apple With Mac App Store"

The only reason I read the article is because of the word App in the title.

This used to be a place that it isn't anymore

Not using Mac App Store was a legal decision (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261906)

Amazon not calling the new Mac software store "Mac App Store" was a legal decision not a matter of not goading Apple. While Amazon can make a very good argument that "App Store" is a generic term, there is no way that the Apple trademark for "Mac App Store" would not be upheld by the courts. You an argue either side of the first term (I think it is generic, but there are those who legitimately disagree), but I cannot see how you can argue that people would not expect the "Mac App Store" to be some place to get Macintosh Apps directly from Apple.

Re:Not using Mac App Store was a legal decision (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262368)

While Amazon can make a very good argument that "App Store" is a generic term, there is no way that the Apple trademark for "Mac App Store" would not be upheld by the courts.

Has Apple registered a trademark on "Mac App Store"? If not, then the conclusion to which you leap is not foregone. It would depend on whether Apple wins the battle for "App Store".

Sounds good to me (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262038)

I really applaud this move. So far, Apple hasn't been able to convince well-known houses that the OS X App Store is good for them. Microsoft, Adobe, Parallels, Mozilla, Oracle (for OpenOffice), Google, Skype -- non of them have any stuff in the App Store. They probably expected that the success of the iOS App Store would automatically make the OS X App Store a success, and might not have bothered starting negotiations.

Here's hoping that Amazon will succeed.

Re:Sounds good to me (0)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262228)

I really applaud this move. So far, Apple hasn't been able to convince well-known houses that the OS X App Store is good for them. Microsoft, Adobe, Parallels, Mozilla, Oracle (for OpenOffice), Google, Skype -- non of them have any stuff in the App Store.

As compared to the Amazon Mac Software Store? Apart from Microsoft Office, you can't download anything you listed from it either.

Hardly a competitor (1)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262064)

There are just over 200 titles and more than 130 of them are for learning a language. Besides that, the store is US-only.

The Mac App Store is lame, but this is much much worse.

Unfortunately, (1)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262164)

the vast majority of what they currently offer are language learning programs. Something like 70 to 80% of what I saw in their store (and I looked at every single page of it) were language learning software. I'd like to learn another language, but I can't imagine needing more than one or two of them. Especially since a lot of them are duplicates just offered by different companies.

Hopefully they can flesh out their selection now that the store is getting a little press.

App Store (1)

Anonymous Crobar (1143477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262308)

(I'm not a lawyer yet, but I'm studying for the New York bar this summer, so that must count for something.)

Amazon is not using the "App Store" moniker for their mac store because if they do, they may automatically lose standing in the original Android App Store action. Apple has not yet received their temporary restraining order, but if they do, it will automatically apply to Amazon's Mac App Store. At that point Amazon either complies (and rebrands their site - $$) or does not and forfeits standing in the Apple action. (Essentially, if you decide to violate the rules imposed by the court, the court expects that you'll ignore an adverse ruling.) The pertinent case is Doran v. Salem Inn, Inc. [justia.com] . It's an interesting case and once again affirms that the fundamentals of American civil procedure owe a tremendous debt to topless dancers.

Apple forced to unbundle App Store? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262380)

What's the difference between MSFT bundling IE into windows and Apple bundling in their "App Store" into OSX? Could Apple be forced to unbundle their own app store from OSX?

Re:Apple forced to unbundle App Store? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262544)

Apple doesn't sell OSX on or for any computers but their own.

Re:Apple forced to unbundle App Store? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36263196)

You can buy apps from anywhere, you never have to use the app store if you don't want to.

Meanwhile in the case of IE, it was used throughout the system in ways you could not easily undo.

Plus of course there's the whole "Apple is not a monopoly" thing.

Re:Apple forced to unbundle App Store? (1)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264440)

You didn't have to use IE for web browsing though, I never understood how people got bent out of shape about that. One day I tried firefox, it was better, and that was the end of it. How fucking hard is that? What the fuck is the big deal? What are we going to do next, tell Toyota that they can't bundle steering wheels with their cars, because you should be able to use a Ford one instead? The browser pick list solution is like buying a camry with dodge, chevy, ford, hyundai, nissan and ford steering wheels and you have to pick which one you want when you get the car, throwing the others away. It makes no sense, if I wanted parts I would use my existing steering wheel to get them. How the fuck is that a crime?

Re:Apple forced to unbundle App Store? (2)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264598)

What's even kind of similar between MSFT bundling IE into Windows and Apple bundling the App Store?

Firstly, uh, bundling is fine UNLESS you are a MONOPOLY who are using it as a tactic to push into OTHER MARKETS. Apple isn't a monopoly. (Sorry, "macs" are not a distinct market)

Secondly, Windows is Microsoft's product, and they were using its monopoly to force vendors selling hardware to not include the then-leading Netscape Navigator, even if customers may have wanted that by the vendor's estimation. That's unfair competition.

The situation with OSX is nothing like that. Its only on Apple's own machines, for one: for two, they don't even _really_ sell OSX to either users or OEMs, they only sell upgrades. Though they don't enforce it through DRM, you aren't licensed to use that upgrade you buy in the store unless you use it on original Apple hardware.

They aren't trying to get more people to buy OSX. They aren't trying to use the monopoly that is OSX to force other Software Stores out of business. They aren't requiring that people who want OSX software to get said software through their store (though some claim they will go here: paranoid babbling. There's a difference between a full computer and an app appliance, and the Macs are Apple's very profitable computer business. IOS is their app appliance business.)

What OS is that? (1)

tgv (254536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36262766)

In the small list of non-language learning software, there are must-have apps such as PowerDirector 9 Deluxe and Sony Vegas, Acid and Sound Forge. Why should we bother when a shop cannot even filter for OSX.

Re:What OS is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264618)

One of the Mac speciality stores does this (macmall I think). If you search on their site for Mac apps they will return a whole mess of results for Windows.

Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36263858)

Great, now sell something that lets you use your purchased Amazon video content on an iPhone :)

Re:Cool! (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266214)

I don't think Amazon is going to have apps for any more of their services on iOS, given that Apple has a June 30 [allthingsd.com] deadline in place before they start enforcing their new rules regarding in-app purchases to existing apps. Kindle app would fall prey to that, and so would any hypothetical Amazon VOD app.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?