∞ Mac App Store will launch at 12:00 pm ET on Thursday

The Mac App Store will officially launch on January 6, but nobody has been able to nail down a time when the service will be publicly available.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]According to my sources, the Mac App Store will be available at 12:00 pm (noon) ET on Thursday. That puts it at about 9:00 am PT where Apple is headquartered in Cupertino, Calif.

Introduced during Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event in October, the Mac App Store is very similar in setup to the company’s popular App Store, which was started for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Like it’s iOS counterpart, the Mac App Store will have paid and free apps featuring one-click download and install.

Discovery will be a big focus of the Mac App Store as Apple aims to make it easier for new users to quickly find and install new software. You will be able to browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what’s hot, view staff favorites, search categories and read customer ratings and reviews, according to Apple.

Apple said that purchased apps will run on all of your personal Macs.