Long-time Mac users remember how software was distributed before the introduction of the Mac App Store five years ago. You could buy boxed software in retail stores, and you could download shareware that you could try out and pay for if you liked. There was also freeware that developers gave away. Some developers still practice the shareware model, but the Mac App Store has become the sole provider for much of the software people use on their Macs.
This has its advantages: users are protected, since Apple validates the software; they don’t have to trust their credit card numbers to potentially dodgy websites; and it’s easy to re-download apps and get updates, all through a single app that serves as a storefront. Developers pay Apple a 30 percent commission, but Apple manages fulfillment and billing, and exposes their software to tens of millions of Mac users, so it’s not a bad deal.
But two things are missing from the Mac App Store: demo versions and paid upgrades.
Read the rest of the article on Macworld.