Apple’s Mac App Store Is Officially Open for Business

Moments ago, Apple announced that its Mac App Store went live offering more than 1,000 free and paid apps to boot. The service aims to replicate the iOS App Store experience on the Mac, by allowing customers to find new apps, buy them using their iTunes account, and download and install them in just one step.

Available for Snow Leopard users through Software Update as part of Mac OS X 10.6.6, the Mac App Store offers apps in Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity, Utilities and other categories, Apple said today.

Apps are stacked in “new and noteworthy” columns, or users can find out “what’s hot”, see “staff favorites”, search categories and look up top charts for paid and free apps, as well as user ratings and reviews, just like they do with the iOS App Store.

“With more than 1,000 apps, the Mac App Store is off to a great start,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think users are going to love this innovative new way to discover and buy their favorite apps.”

Apple highlights some of the applications that kicked off today, including titles from developers such as Autodesk, and Boinx.

Confirming rumors that iLife and iWork would be broken down to match the App Store model of distribution, Apple also announced today that iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand from the iLife 11 suite are available individually in the Mac App Store for $14.99 each.

The same goes for iWork apps - Pages, Keynote and Numbers, which are also available for $19.99 each.

Aperture 3, Apple’s powerful photo editing and management software, can be purchased and downloaded through the Mac App Store for $79.99, Apple also confirmed.

Apple’s official report includes a few statements from the heads of some high-profile development studios, such as Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO, who said:

“We’re delighted to bring our professional-grade paint and drawing app, Autodesk SketchBook Pro, to the Mac App Store on its first day of launch.”

“We’ve seen tremendous success on the Mac, iPhone and iPad with multiple apps. We’re excited to offer SketchBook Pro on the Mac App Store so artists can easily create everything from quick sketches to high-quality artwork right on their Macs,” Bass said.

“By offering the Family Tree Maker app on the Mac App Store, we’re making it even easier for people to discover and access their family history,” said Tim Sullivan,’s CEO. “The Mac App Store will drive a new generation of innovation on the Mac platform.”

“We’re thrilled to have our award-winning animation, video production and photography software available on the new Mac App Store,” said Oliver Breidenbach, Boinx Software’s CEO. “The Mac App Store makes it easier than ever for consumers to access all the innovative software designed for the Mac.”

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