It was totally predictable that Apple would move in the direction they're moving. And of course it was predicted here, to which Apple zealots said but you have a choice. They still say that. Over time the Apple-approved choices will get smaller. This is what I refer to as the disneyfication of computing. It's inexorable.
I prefer if Microsoft would zig to Apple's zag, to match every Apple move to close off their ecosystem to ever-more-docile programmers, with an equivalent move to invite in the most creative to work in their space. In the first of many such analogies for sure, there are Jeremy Lins out there in the software world. They don't work for Microsoft or Apple, and more and more they won't fit into their developer programs. What are we to do about it?
The first thing to do is to make sure there's a distribution of Linux that matches the current-day Mac in ease of use. This fork will not go down the same path as Mac OS, it will not become a tablet computer on a desktop. It won't be owned by Google and it won't be disneyfied, although it should be protected for users with anti-malware updates, on a regular basis. The funding should come from organizations who have an interest in not being restricted by Apple, Google and the rest of the tech industry. Hopefully the latest fiasco with address books was enough to alert others that the tech industry is not so benign.
Another thing we have to be sure of is that there is an easy-to-install server that runs outside Microsoft, Apple or Google environments, that does great easy cloud-like things out of the box. My offerings will include: 1. Linkblog, 2. River and 3. Worldoutline modules. People should be making server apps that a technical user can install. And for that we need a server platform that really works and is as easy as it can possibly be to set up and administer. We must work on ease of use. Iterate. Bootstrap. Turn users into developers. Repeat.
And we should cement our relationship with companies like Amazon and Rackspace, that make it easy to boot up a virtual server in their clouds. This is important, very very important and should be encouraged and more investments made.
And the universities should get into the middle of this, the way the Internet booted up out of academia in the 70s and 80s. It's the young creative people who have the most at stake here. People my age have our live's work invested in the open platform. But the creative people coming of age today must have a place where they can try out all their ideas, not just the ones that play in a theme park run by the tech industry. We had that freedom when we were young, and were able to create great things from it. We must pass on a wonderful cyber-world to the next generation, not a crippled one.