Steve Jobs E-mail: No Apple Authorization-Required App Store for Mac

There will be no App Store for Mac OS X software — or at least no App Store that exerts total Apple control over the software that can run on your Mac — according to an e-mail from Steve Jobs to an Apple developer.

Fernando Valente of Chiaro Software wrote Mr. Jobs to ask about recent speculation that changes in a future version of Mac OS X would allow only Apple-authorized and signed apps to run on your Mac, similar to the way iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad work today.

“There’s a rumor saying there will be a Mac App Store and no software without authorization from Apple will run on Mac OS X,” Mr. Valente asked, according to a copy of the e-mail published by MacStories. “Is that true?”

Steve Jobs’s one word answer? “Nope.”

The question may be one of logistics, even for a company with Apple’s resources, rather than desire, especially for a company with Apple’s penchant for controlling the user experience. Desktop software is exponentially more complex than the apps that run on iPhone OS, and the question of being effectively responsible for the reliability of that software is something few companies would willingly take on.

Were Apple to place itself as the gatekeeper to Mac OS X software, the company would face a firestorm of criticism and negative PR the first nanosecond that a security patch, or updates crucial to business or creative software were delayed. These simply aren’t factors in the much more narrowly defined world of iPhone OS devices.

In addition, Apple would either have to embrace gambling, piracy, pornography, and all other manner of sinful activities currently verboten on iPhone OS or face losing much of its user base. “It’s one thing to forego boobies on your smartphone,” said a Mac user who wished to remain anonymous, “but it’s a whole other issue when it comes to your computer.”