Apple’s Mac App store launched today alongside the release of Mac OS X 10.6.6, bringing some major iPhone and iPad applications to the Mac platform and pulling some existing Mac favorites into the new App Store.

The Mac App Store is included as part of Mac OS X 10.6.6, and is unavailable for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, which also means it is unavailable for PowerPC Macs. However, anyone with an Intel Mac should be able to run the App Store and download free or paid applications.

Steve Jobs says there are over 1,000 applications available on the Mac App Store at launch, but we’ve never been a fan of using big numbers as an indicator of quality or the availability of applications you would actually want to use. Luckily, there are a ton of good games and well known Mac programs already topping the sales charts.

Some highlights include:

    • Games:

    • Twitter for Mac AKA Tweetie 2.0
    • Angry Birds
    • Peggle
    • Zen Bound 2

    • The iLife suite, including iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band
    • The iWork suite, with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers
    • Rapidweaver 5
    • Pixelmator
    • Things
    • Aperture
    • Evernote

We expect some of the other big name Mac developers will move into the App Store soon, along with iOS developers who may not have written desktop Mac OS X programs before.

Earlier reviewers of the Mac App Store have noticed that if you already have certain Mac App Store applications installed outside the App Store, for instance if you already own the iWork suite, the Mac App store will show those applications as “installed”, even though they do not show as “purchased”. You also cannot rate or review any application unless you buy it through the App Store, even if you already own it.

Stay tuned for more!