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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krreagan
Member since:
2008-04-08

The average user could not install and run a Linux box for any length of time without banging their head against the wall in frustration... they don't have the time or desire to mess with it. And it does take more time and effort to configure especially when you really don't know your way around a computer except for the big 5 (web browsing, email, spreadsheets, word processing and presentation)

Reply Parent Score: -3

howitzer86 Member since:
2008-02-27

The average user could not install and run a Linux box for any length of time without banging their head against the wall in frustration... they don't have the time or desire to mess with it. And it does take more time and effort to configure especially when you really don't know your way around a computer except for the big 5 (web browsing, email, spreadsheets, word processing and presentation)


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?

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.

Edited 2012-02-16 15:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

boxy Member since:
2011-06-20

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.

Reply Parent Score: 10

CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

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

Reply Parent Score: 6

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The "average user" couldn't install and setup a MacOS X or Windows machine from scratch either. If the OS isn't preinstalled and preconfigured, they're screwed, regardless of what OS it is.

Reply Parent Score: 7

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

What are you smoking?

MacOSX install from Disc (Leopard was the last time I done it), is the damn easiest OS install.

Windows 7 is harder, but not that difficult. I can talk people through it over the phone.

If you are doing an upgrade install ... you just put the disk in go through the installer, reboot and you have Windows 7.

If you don't have network after install then you will have problems ... otherwise Windows update finds all the drivers for you.

Reply Parent Score: 2

krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

Mac OS X comes installed on the computer. The user doesn't need to install it!

Reply Parent Score: 1

kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

Well duh

The 'average user' can't even install windows without hand holding. Average users buy a computer and don't mess with the OS.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

The average user could not install and run a Linux box for any length of time without banging their head against the wall in frustration...

What rubbish! I installed Ubuntu 10.04 for my folks (they are in their late 60's and not computer savy - zero experience). I installed Linux because of its stability and no virus worries, and Ubuntu is easy to use. They have used their pc for a year now, writing documents, sending emails, printing photos (they surprised me by installing their own printer), and even Skype'ing. They say they are having lots of fun - and phoned me only once for support. So Linux is no more difficult to use than any other OS!

Reply Parent Score: 5

krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

Your's is rubbish! My company had to halt linux installs because of all the support calls they were getting. 3-4 times the number of windows support calls. And the people running it were engineers!

Reply Parent Score: 0