Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Feb 2012 14:46 UTC
Mac OS X Well, this is a surprise. Several websites have a preview up of Apple's next Mac OS X release - it's called Mountain Lion, and continues the trend of bringing over functionality from iOS to Mac OS X. Lots of cool stuff in here we've all seen before on iPhones and iPads, including one very, very controversial feature: Gatekeeper. Starting with Mac OS X 10.8, Apple's desktop operating system will be restricted to Mac App Store and Apple-signed applications by default (with an opt-out switch), following in Windows 8's footsteps.
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I'm not too worried about such people really. If they aren't interested enough to figure out how to do this, what makes you think their apathy would somehow turn into interest in a free desktop environment?

It's not about a free desktop environment. It's about being able to do whatever you want with hardware and software you already paid for and own. There's no valid reason I shouldn't be able to install something on a general purpose operating system if I want to.

The writer says what Apple is doing could create a shortage of hard-core developers. Ok. People like that tend to be fine with installing Linux - even on their first try. People like that are not the same people that you're talking about.

That's mostly true today. And the author is not arguing otherwise. However, if machines are locked down like this, then the barrier to entry for anyone to get to the point where they would be "fine with installing Linux" would be severely increased. This is especially true on Macs because of the non-conforming UEFI implementation that they use.

There most certainly is a war on general purpose computing. It's not such a stretch to say that in 10 years, every computer will be locked down out of the box and will require reverse engineering to regain absolute control of the hardware. At that point, the activity will probably be a DMCA violation and declared illegal on the grounds that it could 'enable teh dirty pirates' or some other such nonsense.

The thing is, it might need to get to that point before there's any meaningful resistance. I hope not, but most people don't care and won't care until it's too late. I believe that this is the point the article makes.

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