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Marco Arment on the Mac App Store's future

Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, weighed in with his thoughts on the future of the Mac App Store. He argued that, unless Apple changes some of its rigid policies, the Mac App Store is doomed. He pointed to the recent departure of the email client Postbox, which in part was the result of Apple's strict sandboxing requirements, as an example of what the future holds for the Mac App Store.

Because of Apple's policies, Arment predicts that an increasing number of developers are going to leave the Mac App Store. Arment writes, "The problem with sandboxing isn't that any particular app is incompatible with the current entitlements. It's a deeper problem than that: Apple is significantly reducing the number of apps that can be sold in the Store after people have already bought them."

This developer departure will not only affect developers, it will also affect customers who bought a piece of software that is now gone from the App Store. Arment says that even he has "lost all confidence that the apps I buy in the App Store today will still be there next month or next year."

It isn't just sandboxing that's causing some developers to leave. The lack of a paid upgrade system, no access to important customer information and no volume discounts are making some developers return to selling their software through their own storefronts.

Arment makes a compelling argument for buying apps directly from the developer instead of through the Mac App Store, even through the App Store is convenient. You should take the time to read his post and consider what he says the next time you click on the "Buy App" button.

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