I don't mean to imply with that title — or anything I've written, really — that I think the Mac App Store is all bad. It's not. I like the idea of it quite a bit, and in some cases, particularly that of the Lion upgrade, and also in terms of license handling for individual users, the Mac App Store is quite good. But let's be honest: as a piece of software it's half-baked. It doesn't even seem like a finished application, never mind a system service that will handle core functionality like system software updates. It's sub-iTunes, and that's pretty sub if you ask me. So what are some specfic things I hate?
Launch the Mac App Store and be prepared to wait. Wait while the app loads. Click on a link in the Mac App Store and be prepared to wait some more while whatever you clicked loads. Search for something in the App Store and... Well, you get the idea. I typically wait anywhere from 3 to 10 — you heard me, 10! — seconds for the App Store to fully load on launch. On a new MacBook Pro with 8 Gigs of RAM, no less.
Not only will you wait after clicking a link, but there will be almost no indication that you've done anything at all. That's right, during the wait time between clicking something and something actually happening, there will be very little to tell you that you've actually initiated an action. The only hint is a small throbber in the toolbar, and it doesn't even always work.
Quit the Mac App Store and the next time you launch it it will not return you to your last visited page. No, instead you will see the Featured page, every time, even though Lion is supposed to remember the last state of apps, and even though App Store is a Mac app. This is not only annoying, it's not conducive to shopping.
The Mac App Store in general, in fact, doesn't seem particularly conducive to anything but the most cursory and shallow of shopping endeavors. There is no way to look at more then one item at a time. There is no way to see a list of recently viewed items. There is no way to keep a list of items I'm interested in for perusal and possible purchase later. This is a piece of software that behaves very much like a browser, and, I believe, is even based on WebKit, but has no history or bookmarks. See something you like? Want to save it for later so you can shop around a bit or do some comparison shopping? Better get out a pen and some paper, 'cause this computerized shopping program can't even make wish lists.
I guess the final irony for me is this: How do you expect to sell software with such a shitty piece of software? That just seems like bad salesmanship.