Hot on the heels of Google's Chrome OS App Store, Apple is expected to launch its own storefront for OSX in the coming weeks, with a few rumoured launch dates already having passed. However, Jay Freeman may be looking to take some of the wind out of Steve Jobs' sails by launching an alternative marketplace for the platform.
Freeman - better known as 'saurik' - is the brains behind Cydia, the unofficial app store for jailbroken iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. According to TUAW, the dev told attendees at the 360 MacDev conference that he would be launching an alternative store for OSX "within weeks" in a move that is likely to pre-empt Apple's own store.
In his presentation, saurik slammed the Mac-maker's restrictive policies for app deployment and its limited developer documentation. He also emphasised the concerns - shared by many - that many of policies that applied to iOS would also apply to its desktop counterpart.
A Cydia app store for OSX would obviously lack many or all of these restrictions and provide a high-profile platform for developers to sell software free from Apple's control. Though desktop operating systems obviously allow any software to be installed without the need for 'jailbreaking', the store would still provide a focused and centralised location for people to find the programs that they needed.
Pre-empting Apple could also be a huge boost for Cydia, which could gain a lot of traction before the official alternative was able to get off the ground. At the moment, the iOS version of the store has an estimated ten million users and offers over 30,000 free, paid and open source packages.