Apple's launch of the Mac OS X App Store appears to be an instant success. Apple was on center stage Thursday with their iWork apps ready for download, but one application made available today from Apple caught everyone off guard —Aperture.
The arrival of Aperture on the App Store isn't a just a shot across Adobe's bow, that doesn't do Apple's move justice. What Apple did to Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom software is equivalent to hundreds of cannon rounds being fired upon a ship at point blank range. T-GAAP asked Adobe PR if any Adobe apps were heading to Apple's App Store, but we did not receive a response. But it gets worse for Adobe.
Apple gave Aperture a massive price cut, and it can be downloaded for only $79. Until today, a boxed copy of Aperture retailed for $199 (as of now it is still available as a physical purchase). Adobe's Lightroom currently retails for $199 as a physically purchased product. Which software is going to dominate? An easy-to-find, $79 direct download or a physical copy of software for $199... Boxed software sounds silly already.
Tensions were already at a boiling point between Adobe and Apple regarding Flash, and the App Store is likely to raise tensions even higher. Adobe's registration codes and strict licensing of product are not likely to be easily tossed aside in favor of whatever Apple deems their App Store policies shall be. And Adobe's roadmap isn't likely to include shoehorning unwieldy large creative applications into a new purchasing method, while changing pricing models in order to meet Apple's non-upgradable software path.
Thanks to Apple's App Store, the only out of box experience Lightroom is going to enjoy is the one where it's almost made it down that long dark tunnel to join the light on the other side. Other Adobe titles are not likely to be safe from Apple's assault either. What's to stop Apple from launching Final Cut Express, Logic Express, or taking the entire Final Cut Pro suite and delivering it through the App Store? If Apple makes these moves, count on Premiere being ushered off OS X once again.
For a brief while, Adobe's major titles are safe being delivered as traditional boxed copies of software. But if the MacBook Air is the future of all Mac laptops, and the App Store becomes the only needed and logical way to purchase software, Apple will move to eliminate physical software installs, leaving Adobe to make some very uncomfortable decisions. Does anyone honestly believe Adobe wants to give Steve Jobs the right to bless or deny their software for use on OS X?
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