macappstore
Apple announced this morning that its Mac App Store has delivered over 100 million application downloads since it opened in early January 2011. This store follows the model Apple previously established for its iOS-based App Store, and of course serves as inspiration for Microsoft's coming Windows Store.

Note that  some blogs are incorrectly reporting that Apple's Mac App Store has "sold" over 100 million apps, but that this figure is for  downloads only. Most of the apps downloaded from this store are free, not paid. Apple would explicitly state so if that wasn't the case.

Apple's first App Store debuted in 2008.

"In just three years the App Store changed how people get mobile apps, and now the Mac App Store is changing the traditional PC software industry," says Apple senior VP Phil Schiller. "With more than 100 million downloads in less than a year, the Mac App Store is the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world."

For now. Microsoft's Windows Store will likely surpass the Mac App Store very quickly, just as Windows 7 has thoroughly dominated Mac OS X. Microsoft intends to ship a preview version of the Windows Store, with free apps only, in February 2012. The final version will ship with Windows 8 later in the year.

Still, Apple's move to provide Mac users with an iOS-like App Store is a great one. As I raved in Apple Gets It Right With Mac App Store back in January, the Mac App Store provides deep UI integration, liberal app licensing terms, nice app discovery, and other useful and desirable features. 

"The Mac App Store is an impressive step, and one that Microsoft should be adding to Windows before Windows 8," I wrote, not without some understanding that Microsoft was working on doing just that. "Kudos to Apple for leading the way, yet again. The Mac App Store looks great."

Apple later included the App Store in Mac OS X "Lion," the latest version of Mac OS X, which shipped in July. As I noted in my review of Mac OS X "Lion", "Windows needs something like this, and sooner rather than later ... This is app buying done right: Once you buy an app, you own it, and you can install it again anytime you want. Bravo."

While the Mac App Store is nicely designed, based as it is after all on a previously (far more) successful mobile app store, there are still some holes. The Mac App Store curiously does not utilize the new full screen apps mode that Apple included in Lion, and it's missing some key applications, including Adobe's professional apps (Photoshop CS5, Acrobat, and so on) and Microsoft Office. I'm curious to see whether Microsoft will be able to bring such powerful and expensive apps to its own online store.