A reader just emailed us to point out a post I wrote this past April. MacStories.net had published an email a developer at Chiaro Software had sent Steve Jobs to ask him if the rumors of a Mac App Store and no software running on OS X without authorization from Apple were true. Job's answer? "Nope."
Yesterday's Mac App Store announcement puts a different spin on that response. Jobs sent the "nope" email in late April. It's unrealistic to think that Apple had no plans for a Mac App Store at that time -- I mean, it was less than six months ago.
Does that mean Jobs was lying? Not lying so much as 'selectively answering.' The developer asked Jobs a two-part question to which Jobs answered truthfully to one part (you will still be able to install & run OS X apps on the Mac that are not bought through the Mac App Store) and left out the part where Apple was actually working on a Mac App Store.
So the "nope" was true -- just not the whole truth. As my colleague Erica Sadun has pointed out, regarding Apple's future product directions and plans, when Jobs says "No" you should always hear "Maybe."