Little more than a year ago, I asked the question, "Will the Mac app store change the desktop software landscape?"
The answer may not yet be obvious, but one thing is for sure: Apple's attempt to bring the app store model to the desktop isn't a flop.
Yesterday, the company announced that less than a year after launching, the Mac App Store has already surpassed the 100m download milestone.
According to Apple, this makes its newest app store "the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world."
Windows 8 is coming, and it's going to bring more than just a new operating system to users. Perhaps inspired by Apple, Microsoft will be delivering an app store dubbed the Windows Store with the newest version of its OS.
The Windows Store, which Microsoft wants to be the primary distribution hub for Metro style apps, is clearly something Microsoft has high hopes for. In fact, it's one of the reasons Microsoft is calling Windows 8 "the largest developer opportunity, ever."
Native mobile apps may still be the best way to deliver mobile applications that provide rich, enjoyable experiences, but there is a place for the mobile web, and in many cases, it is increasingly promising.
Technically, however, many challenges remain. The number of mobile devices and platforms grows by the day, and capabilities often differ significantly.
When the web was young, most websites were in English. This wasn't exactly surprising. After all, the web first emerged in the United States in a big way and was its largest initial market.
Over time, of course, the web has come to bring the world closer together and in turn, give companies anywhere in the world opportunities global in size.
For many companies, that meant moving beyond the English language to reach customers and stakeholders in their native tongues.
On Tuesday night, at an event in Hong Kong, Google unveiled the newest version of its Android operating system. Android 4.0, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, is perhaps the most important Android release ever.
Not only does it merge Android 2.x, which is used on mobile phones, with Android 3.x, which was designed for tablets, Google clearly aimed to make Ice Cream Sandwich more than just another major release.
Its apparent goal: reshape Android, making the entire interface and experience, oft-criticized, much, much tastier for mainstream consumers and hardcore mobile enthusiasts alike.
Will Google succeed, perhaps helping it compete against iOS and the iPhone? Here's what folks are saying.
For Adobe, the rise of mobile, and the iPhone and iPad in particular, has been bittersweet.
Yes, the company most recognizable to consumers for its Reader and Flash products, has plenty of new opportunities thanks to mobile, but exploiting them has required the company to look at a number of Plan Bs.
The primary reason: Apple doesn't like Flash. Adobe tried to persuade Apple that Flash isn't so bad, but that wasn't going anywhere, so the company has been increasingly betting its mobile future on other technologies, like HTML5.
While the business of virtual goods has probably been popularized most by social games such as Farmville, the mobile market for virtual goods has developed into a lucrative space for mobile games as well.
There's a good reason for this: charging for a mobile game itself has become increasingly difficult for many game developers, and virtual goods offer one of the best ways to implement a freemium model.
According to mobile ad network Flurry, as of June 2011, well over half (65%) of the revenue for top-grossing games in Apple's U.S. App Store was generated by freemium games. Just six months earlier, 61% of revenue was generated by paid games.
The success of Android in the mobile market may be one of Google's biggest accomplishments outside of search, and it may be crucial to the company's long-term success generally.
But when it comes to ecosystems, Android still lags well behind Apple, which has built the mother of all ecosystems around iOS.
The question for Google: why is that?
When it comes to tablets, traditional publishers have a dilemma: the numbers make it clear that the money is currently in native apps, but for publishers struggling to survive, giving up 30% of revenue to Apple, along with valuable subscriber data, is a tough pill to swallow.
So many publishers are trying to have their cake and eat it too. How? By building web apps that look and feel like native apps.
For traditional publishers, the Apple has been a blessing and a curse. On one hand, its iOS devices, including the iPad, have created hope and inspired thought about the future of publishing. On the other hand, it's clear that it is no savior.
It's not into charity either. Case in point: the 30% cut Apple demands from subscriptions sold in iOS apps. Begrudgingly, many publishers have agreed to this fee. But not all.