June 2nd, 2011
I have no idea how this will all turn out, but finally after 20-plus years of GUI dominance on the desktop, fundamental change is at hand and the dice are rolling again.
This will be fun.
It's just a shame that it seems quite likely that whoever comes out on top will insist that you use their App Store to add software to your computer. I'm fine with manufacturers building app stores: the Mac App Store for OS X and the iTunes App Store for iOS systems are both slick and reliable. I just don't think the makers of our personal computers should act as gatekeepers who can arbitrarily enforce rules about what we can and can't do with our computers.
Discussing the introduction of the iPad 2 a couple of months ago, John Gruber declared that "It's a shame, almost, that we squandered the term 'personal computer' 30 years ago." The thing is, if Apple and Commodore and Tandy and, a little later on, IBM and Microsoft had managed to grab that sort of power over what users could do with their computers we'd never have had a personal computer revolution.