Mac App Store Uses New DRM Code from 10.6.6
Several glitches marred the Mac App Store's launch today, with some errors seemingly related to the way that Mac OS X 10.6.6 deals with non-native partitions
, and others likely just launch-day bugs. And while the problems could certainly be related to an unexpected surge of passionate interest in a $5 Angry Birds for the Mac, it could also have to do with what appears to be a significant restructuring of how Mac OS X handles DRM.
Mac OS X 10.6.6 includes a new Objective-C framework: CommerceKit. If you don't have CommerceKit.framework and the updated Security.framework on, say, a hackintoshed Dell Mini 10v, the App Store won't run, causing an error about a missing helper application. With those two frameworks, the App Store will launch, but won't allow downloads: other frameworks control that. What seems afoot here, though, is that apps bought on the Mac App Store will need to be validated with CommerceKit, similar to the digital rights management on other online marketplaces like Steam.
It's interesting that the App Store app itself seems to be nothing more than a front-end to the iTunes Store. Web previews to Mac apps
are located on itunes.apple.com, just like iOS apps; there's just a "View in Mac App Store" link where the "View in iTunes" link would be on a song or iOS app preview page.
Whether the dire warnings of some digital rights proponents
- that Mac OS X is headed for the same walled garden fate as iOS - come to pass is something that will remain to be seen. However, it'll be interesting if the protections Apple has implemented to protect downloaded apps do eventually migrate over to the music and iOS app side of the store.