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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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.

You still can install Linux on these machines. If the trend to lock computers around a single supplier/overlord continues, you will not be able to do so without plenty of black magic in a near future.

It is easy to jailbreak a device when you have plenty of general purpose computers lying out there, capable to interface at low level with every other hardware piece in existence.

But when in the future all computers sold are actually locked down "appliances", without a single low level toolkit, without being able to plug any hardware created without the consent of the supplier, without even physical ports to interface with anything else (all in the name of good design, of course, at least is how they will sell this "feature")... well, things will become quite bleach.

You will end up with a generation that looks their computers like our own generation looks their TVs. This will result in a massive reduction in the interest in computers by potential people (that will proceed to some other professional path), and a slow down in innovation.

Worse, since these "appliances" will be black boxes, they will be massive privacy killers and a powerful tool for authoritarian regimes to keep their sheep under control. After all, if you control what a computer can do, you also control what their users can see.

Edited 2012-02-16 16:46 UTC

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