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Apple announces App Store for Mac, due in 90 days

Jobs unveils iPhone-style game and app purchases for OSX Snow Leopard and Lion

Apple has revealed it is to bring its successful App Store to its current range of Mac computers.

Speaking at its 'Back To The Mac' press conference today, Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed the new game and program purchasing and installation feature, which is visually akin to music application iTunes.

The online store will be a component part of both the impending new version of Mac OSX, known as Lion, and of the current operating sytem, Snow Leopard.

"The Mac App Store is going to be really great for our users," said Jobs. "We don't want to wait for Lion. We're going to put it out on Snow Leopard, and will open within 90 days."

It will support both free and paid apps, with Jobs predicting a ratio of 70 to 30 per cent. Apps are bought and installed with a single click (and password entry), while the store offers reviews and recommendations like its portable forerunner.

Also included in Lion is the Launchpad, used to browse and run installed Apps, and which resembles an iPad-like interface layer on top of the standard operating system.

Mac Apps were also revealed to support multi-touch interaction via a Macbook trackpad or a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad peripheral on desktop Apple hardware.

"Again, back to the Mac," said Jobs. "We saw the state of the Mac, we love it, we're investing heavily in it. Our retail marketshare has topped 20%, and we continue to invest in our retail stores."

He revealed that Macs constitute 33 per cent of Apple's revenue, with OSX Lion slated for release next Summer.

Apple also revealed a new version of its ultraportable laptop the Macbook Air, which it claimed combined the features of a Macbook and an iPad in terms of its portability and battery life. "We think it's the future of notebooks," said Jobs.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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