WH Smith is installing a software-shopping service that promises to bring Apple software closer to the consumer.

The difficulty of purchasing Apple software at retail has been a major source of criticism of the platform, but WH Smith’s SoftWide service will go some way towards bridging that gap.

SoftWide is a service that gives consumers a wide choice of up-to-date software. So far, over 75 software publishers have arranged copyright agreements. The service lets consumers choose between a number of different software packages, which are then burnt to CD on the spot.

The service is already live in several WH Smith shops, and the company intends installing it in all 592 of its UK stores by the end of the year. SoftWide’s software shopping solution is also available at HMV, Oxford Street.