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I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the negative effects on lock-in, and as an OS enthusiast I am saddened by the current state development from companies such as Microsoft (and Apple for that matter).
In my opinion Apple has been extremely successful in providing aesthetically pleasing physical and technical improvements, whereas companies such as Microsoft continues to release subpar products - Windows 8 and Surface to name their latest flops.
Aesthetics and usability goes a long way and Apple has set the bar - not in innovation - but from an execution standpoint. Sadly, the competitors - if any - are embarrasingly slow in just keeping pace and plain incompetent when it comes to delivering competitive aesthetics.
Sadly, I see no significant improvements coming from the competition in the forseeable future, because of the obvious flaws in the traditional decision making process. Too many chefs spoil the soup. Edited 2013-04-14 12:46 UTC
But in fairness though there are vendors that release 'nice looking hardware' (subjective at that) but at hamstrung by the fact that all they have to offer is Windows. As I've said in the past, for vendors to restore margins and stand out as something different they need to have an operating system of their own and actually be willing to spend the money to bring it up to speed. The problem is that far too many vendors such as Dell focus only from quarter to quarter sales and thus ignore the bigger picture are their own peril.
Dell already tried their hand at crafting their own operating system, and by many accounts it was one of the better Unix implementations on x86 of its day. And yet, it failed to gain any significant traction.
Running an actual business is a different experience than waxing poetic for a few seconds about "how things should be," from the safety of your home.