So people started to panic around rumours of a Mac App Store, and a locked down Mac OS X that would only install apps from the Apple-controlled store, saying it would be devastating for Mac developers.
Seems they emailed Steve Jobs who responded with a typically terse “Nope.”
I think that would be a disappointing result and as a Mac OS/iPhone OS developer I would seriously welcome the creation of a Mac App Store as an additional distribution channel. I don’t believe it would be feasible to lock down 10.7 to an app store without alienating all of their existing developers who make the platform what it is today, and indeed I would be in line to fight against it.
Apple gets the iPhone App Store just right though; its a simple distribution channel that gets 70% of revenue direct to the developer. While some other sales channels give you a bigger cut, you do get less exposure and let’s face it, exposure equals sales. The number of websites that have grown up around the App Store purely to track it show the interest in its products.
As an iPhone developer transitioning to Mac OS development a Mac App Store would also be a familiar way to distribute upcoming projects.
Given the email to Steve Jobs wasn’t specific enough to rule out the creation of a Mac App Store, I hope its something that Apple is still considering.