Amazon today announced their new "Mac Download Store." You've always been able to download software from Amazon (Got my Quicken for PC that way) but now it is on the Mac…and competes with Apple Mac App Store.
Amazon's Mac shop competes in the strangest of ways -- offering the big-name digital downloads you can't now find at the Mac App Store. Perhaps it's no coincidence the software selection largely aligns with the boxed versions also sold by Amazon. Prices are surprisingly aggressive. Amazon offers Office Home and Student 2011 for $115. Microsoft's online store charges $149.99 for the digital download. Boxed version is $117.28 from Amazon and $149.99 from Microsoft.
As with Windows software downloads, Amazon provides customers with a "Software Library" from which they can redownload applications or games (the Mac games store is new, too, by the way).
The top Mac downloads from each store tells a story. Amazon has more big developers, while Mac App Store has more titles from smaller developers and more Apple applications among the best sellers. Top-5 from Amazon: Office Mac Home and Student 2011; Office Mac Home and Business 2011; Learn Spanish; Final Draft 8; and Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. From Apple: FaceTime; Pages; iPhoto; Xcode; and iMovie. Six of the top 12 Mac App Store titles are from Apple.
Looking at the lists, it's reasonable to ask if Adobe or Microsoft would want to compete with Apple in the Mac App Store. Oh, and for anyone who says no Mac users want Microsoft Office, just refer them to Amazon's bestseller list.
The top Mac game downloads also couldn't be much different. Top-5 from Amazon: Big Kahuna Reef; Matches & Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale; Airport Mania: First Flight; Mosaic: Tomb of Mystery; and A Fairy Tale. Top5 from Apple: Angry Birds; Mortal Combat: Domination; Where' Waldo; Andry Birds Rio; and Sid Meier's Pirates.