Ever since Apple released the Mac App Store in the 10.6.6 update, they’ve been pushing users towards it on all fronts. Aperture, Apple’s popular photo managing tool, is $79.99. Compare that to the in-store price of $199.99, and you realize how much Apple wants everyone on their Store platform.
Now, AppleInsider says that Apple fully intends to distribute their new operating system through the App Store. This is actually already being done with the developer builds of the OS: developers receive a code from the Developer page on Apple.com, which is then redeemed in the same way you would an app promo code. The download then begins, and it’s as simple as that. Why does this matter? It means that Apple has the foundation for this implemented, and is likely testing it by using the developers as guinea pigs.
It’s also noted that this is likely another major move to cut down on selling the hardware copies of software at their retail locations, and instead use the shelf space for more profitable hardware.
One advantage to this approach lies in how the Mac App Store licenses apps: if Apple were to play by their own rules, then you would only have to buy OS X 10.7 Lion once, and then be able to download the update on all of your Macs that are signed in with the same Apple ID.