Ian Betteridge is a brave man. Not only is he a Mac user who has switched to Ubuntu running on Dell hardware, he’s also decided to say so in public.
Some of you may recognize his name: for some years, he was a writer for, and then editor of, the UK version of MacUser magazine.
Why did he do it? Partly because of price, partly because he cares about open software running on open platforms. Apple, he says, is a long way from open and seems to be closing things ever tighter as time goes on. (See also his follow-up post detailing the apps he’s chosen to use on Linux.)
What really caught my eye, though, was one of Ian’s asides. Half way through his post, he predicts that “sooner or later”, the “development ecosystem will increasingly come to resemble that of the iPhone, and for much the same reasons”.
In other words, there will be an App Store for OS X software. An App Store that Apple will keep just as tight control over. Only apps that met with Apple’s approval would be cleared for distribution, and only apps distributed in that manner would actually run.
A bold prediction indeed. A fair one, though? And does the Better World of free software tempt you to switch to Ubuntu (or any other *nix variant)? What do you think?
(Disclaimers: I sometimes contribute articles to MacUser UK; and I know Ian Betteridge personally, have enjoyed a chat and a pint with him, and consider him a lovely chap.).