The Mac Apps store: a harbinger of … what?

This morning’s Observer column.

A couple of weeks ago, Apple announced some new products, including a fancy new lightweight laptop and the latest version of the OS X operating system. In the midst of all the techno-porn, however, Steve Jobs dropped a little bombshell: Apple is opening an online store to sell Mac apps, ie small programs akin to those sold for the iPhone and iPad.

So what? you say. And you may be right. But since Apple is now one of the biggest companies in the world (by market value), nothing that it announces will go unexamined. In the blogosphere, there has been much speculation about what the Mac app store portends.

Opinions vary from the bored to the apocalyptic…