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Mac App Store, Amazon-style

Amazon is the dark horse of the technology world. Once a mere bookseller - albeit an online one - it's slowly becoming a big player in a host of different areas: it's a leading seller of digital music, it does movie rentals, and with its recent opening of an Android app store, it's moving into mobile software. Many expect it to follow that up with a full-blown Android tablet.

But for all the excitement about tablets and smartphones, most of us still do most of our computing using good old fashioned, well, computers. And now it seems Amazon is encroaching into that space too, and into the none-too-open world of Apple. It's launched its own rival to Apple's Mac App Store.

In just the same way that their Android store offers a curated selection of the best software available for Google's mobile software, so too the Mac App Store offers a mere taster of all the Mac software available - about 250 apps, apparently. So why use it rather than Apple's own Mac App Store? Well, though we don't know for sure, it's likely Amazon's cut of this software will be rather less than the 30% Apple takes of the price of Mac App Store downloads, which means software should be cheaper overall. And cheaper software can never be a bad thing, right?

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