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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You look at these corporate walled gardens with indifference for "geeks", however you don't seem to appreciate the extent to which we have benefited from commodity desktop computers being open.

1. Barriers to entry.
So long as commodity computers are sufficiently open, one will find that almost any desktop system in use can be used as is for real development. These ordinary computers can be used for development and normal use without restriction. The difference between a geek and a non-geek should be in the knowledge we possess. We don't have to special order an expensive "developer system". We don't need to pay for a yearly "developer key". Our own abilities are the limit. However when commodity computers become closed, this raises the bar to entry and artificial restrictions on our desktops end up becoming the limit.

2. Access to customers.
The availability of unrestricted niche computers for devs, while important, doesn't necessarily help if one's customers remain behind a restricted walled garden. Developers must be able to reach consumers who are using commodity hardware. Software developers loose when their customers cannot install their software.

Edited 2012-02-16 20:29 UTC

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