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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mrstep
Member since:
2009-07-18

I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if this meant that iOS would allow signed but not App Store curated apps to be installed, though you sort of can today with Ad Hoc builds (in a very limited manner where you have to include the target machine ids in the cert).

I'm also personally not entirely comfortable with the idea that Apple / Microsoft may decide to just lock down the desktop OSes entirely, but I'm not sure I (or you, or most people on this site) are the real average users who will NEVER build their own app and NEVER even realize that something has been locked down. Other than seeing less malware.

I do think that the fact that you have App Store apps or Apple Developer program signed apps is a net positive for the end users in that you can at least feel like apps you get from outside the App Store are somewhat more safe - at least you know who signed them. Maybe that works out as a net positive for developers of apps that can't run sandboxed if people still feel more comfortable.

The other thing that rubs me the wrong way is the entire app sandboxing / file sandboxing. The flat view of files is really too shallow for people who work professionally on machines. Of course, as we've seen with much of iOS, Apple seems to have had the insight that while geeks build the computers, write the software, etc., they are not the 99% of the target audience. Would my parents miss not seeing the file system? Would they wish they could run multiple apps to edit the same document? Do they understand folders? As far as I can tell, the answer is no to all of those.

So while I don't like that either at a pretty deep level, I'm not sure it's wrong end users, but rather because it's wrong for us. There needs to be an option to open the system (app installs, file system navigation) for development or 'pro' users, but I'd be shocked if locked down isn't the default in a year or two.

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