App Store: Does "Free" mean junk?
To distribute widgets, you don't need to pay $99/year and you don't have to apply for a program. Apple has the experience of Installer.app to go by, where gems can quickly get lost among other people's "Hello World" applications. I think Apple wants to keep the signal quality high and the noise level low. Perhaps that's why they're pushing for paid serious apps rather than free frivolous ones.
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