Apple started the App Store revolution. Canonical hopes to continue it with the Ubuntu Software Store. The Web has been buzzing a few days about the store -- which debuts in Ubuntu 9.10 but may really come together in Ubuntu 10.10. Is there demand for an Ubuntu Software Store? Before you answer, consider my oldest son's current (and future) use of an Apple iTouch, Ubuntu netbook and Ubuntu notebook.

According to an official statement about the store:
"The Ubuntu Software Store will be a single graphical interface for package management in Ubuntu. In version 1, it will build on the basic philosophy of Add/Remove Applications and make it even easier to use. In later versions, it will grow to replace Synaptic, gdebi, some parts of the Computer Janitor, and possibly Update Manager. Having a single interface will make handling software easier, socially improve security, hopefully free space on the CD, and provide a prominent showcase for Ubuntu and partner software. The Store is implemented using Python, GTK, and Aptdaemon, and may use PackageKit for some components. Software Store is hosted in Launchpad."
I could be wrong but I think the Ubuntu Software Store will appeal greatly to Ubuntu newbies who want a simple way to find and easily install top-rated applications.

A case in point: My 10-year-old son is hooked on the App Store for his iPod Touch (iTouch). That same son uses an Ubuntu netbook and another Ubuntu notebook several times a week. I know -- for a fact -- that he'd spend lots of time in the Ubuntu Software Store if it was intuitive and loaded with lots of user-rated applications.

Likewise, I bet adults will flock to it for business and productivity applications.

First Steps

This article from Phoronix offers a closer look at the Ubuntu Software Store strategy, plus some early screen shots.

Are Canonical and the Ubuntu community doing anything wildly unique with the Ubuntu Software Store? Frankly, I'm not sure. But that may not matter. In the age of consumer software downloads and cloud computing, it seems to me that online app stores are no longer "nice to have" options. Instead, those stores are "must have" requirements.

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