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Apple extends bulk buy app shopping plan to Macs

Mac app store catches up to Redmond

App Store's 25 billionth download, credit Apple

Apple has announced a new “Volume Purchase Program” for Mac OS apps.

The company already operates such a program for apps running on iThings, allowing “businesses and educational institutions to purchase multiple copies of your apps at once”.

The “your” refers to developers and the apps Apple imagines you might want to sell multiple copies of are bespoke apps that developers whip up for their clients.

Developers keen on selling their wares in this way need only get coding, then sign up for a program called “iTunes Connect” that lets them specify who is allowed to purchase their apps. Once buyers sign up for the “Volume Purchase Program” it becomes possible to buy all the copies of an app they want, with Apple taking care of the payments plumbing and taking its cut.

Educational institutions can also sign up for the Volume Purchase Program and developers can offer such customers a discount if they buy 20 or more copies of an app.

A similar program has now been announced for the Mac App Store, a Cupertino offering that gets little love but is still chugging along. Apple's not saying exactly when the feature will turn on, saying only that developers can expect it "soon".

Ironically, bringing the volume program to Mac apps means Apple is catching up to Microsoft, which has had the ability to distribute apps to PCs in quantity since the launch of Windows 8. Apple's offering seems not to have the odd conditions Microsoft has imposed that make it hard for developers to sell in quantities under 100. ®

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