We already know Mac users will soon be able to enjoy an Apple-approved app purchasing experience, thanks to the imminent arrival of the Mac App Store. The store won't open as imminently as expected, however. Based on the latest rumors, conveyed by both Appletell and The Loop, Apple will open the Mac App Store some time next month.
Apple announced the service in October and actually quoted a time frame for its opening: within 60 days of the announcement. According to the folks at Appletell, Apple was shooting for December 13, but "numerous issues" forced it to postpone. There's no word on what those issues are, although building a new software distribution service from the ground up presumably involves some difficulty—even if we're talking about a company with plenty of experience in online distribution.
The more I think about it, the more I'm excited to see what the App Store will brings us. Being able to seek out and buy software from a single location sounds like a great feature for any OS, of course, but I'm equally interested to see what kinds of app approval requirements Apple sets up. A world in which big Mac software developers are forced to play by the same rules, follow user-interface guidelines, and provide an easy way to uninstall their software if it's not a self-contained .app, might be a better one... as long as power users can still wander off the beaten path and grab software off the web, too.