Apple recently announced their Mac App Store
which is basically their App store already known from the iPhone, but for the Mac Computers. Developers will be able to upload applications starting with November, and it's expected to go live for end users in January.
If you are a developer, the App Store initially sounds like a good idea. But Apple is Apple, and the details don't sound that nice: Apple wants 30% of the revenue if you publish your program on the Mac App Store. And additionally, you need to pay 99$ per year to access the Developer Program, only to get information about the App Store internals in order to develop for it. Additionally, Apple forces you to obey an incredible long list of stuff you may not do
in your application: License keys? Forbidden. Own update mechanism? Forbidden. You app is similar to an app created by Apple? Forget it. Using your own copy protection scheme? No chance. And the list also includes other ridiculous stuff like "apps that [...] do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected". Oh come on.
From a developers perspective, and known the bad history of Apple, rejecting plenty of totally valid apps for their own reasons, the App store currently looks to become a censorship and revenue sucking tool generating money for apple and putting us developers at the mercy of this company. And since the distribution of Apps via normal website downloads doesn't generate any money for Apple, I bet they'll make it more and more difficult in the future for developers to go that way instead.
But it's not that bad. Apple won't be that evil, right? Right