As you've probably heard, Apple held a media event this morning in which they announced a new version of iLife, 2 new MacBook Air models (11" and 13") with solid state storage, and zzzzzzzz....

But OH! They also gave a preview of Mac OS X 10.7, code-named Lion, and most importantly, the Mac App Store.


This is basically the App Store for iOS devices, on a Mac. It looks like they literally layered the iPad/iPhone Springboard application over OS X. Developers will now be able to create and distribute apps for iPhone, iPad, and the Mac via the same system, and get the same 70/30 split on revenue. Same auto-tracking of updates, all that.

Of course, everyone will now start screaming about how this is their first shot at locking down the Mac platform the same way they do on iOS devices. Nonsense, of course. This actually looks like a great combination of the two, and is pretty much what everyone has wanted in iOS from the beginning. An easy way for consumers to find and buy and developers to distribute and make money on apps, combined with the freedom to install whatever you want outside of that system, like a normal computer.

The Mac App Store will launch in the current version of OS X within 90 days, and they'll be accepting app submissions next month.

More coverage here.