Apple is launching a new initiative called "Developer ID," an email notice informs. "The Mac App Store is the safest place for users to get software for their Mac, but we also want to protect users when they download applications from other places," Apple writes. "Developer ID is a new way to help prevent users from installing malware on their Mac. Along with Gatekeeper, a new feature in Mountain Lion, signing applications with your Developer ID certificate provides users with the confidence that your application is not known malware and has not been tampered with."
A Developer ID is notably distinct from an Apple ID, currently used by both developers and the public. Apple is taking a more restrictive approach to software in OS X Mountain Lion; Gatekeeper will, by default, only allow Mac App Store titles, or those signed with a Developer ID. Users will have to manually configure Mountain Lion to accept unsigned apps, something that may affect the Mac software industry.