The walled garden is the future of computing.
These days it seems like almost everybody (at least almost everybody in the technology world) has made bashing Apple their new favorite past time.
One of the complaints I hear again and again is that Apple's mobile operating system that runs every iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch are designed based on the "walled garden" philosophy - meaning that you can only install approved apps on the device from Apple's App Store unless you throw all caution (and your warranty :)) and jailbreak your device.
Compare this to Google's Android OS where the user can install anything they want, from wherever they want from wherever they want, including some fairly insidious malware. I know I've been spammed two or three times by friends who had their Android phone's address book compromised. However even Google is making moves in more restrictive directions of late, but only in their app store, which you can ignore completely if you prefer.
What these geeks are missing is that for 99% of the population, the jail is a good thing! People want their devices to be appliances. They want to browse the web without fear, write their documents and spreadsheets unfettered by things like virus checking, file systems and storage devices, and play their games secure in the knowledge that they're not pulling in a Trojan that will send Nazi supremacist hate mail to their grandma and their boss.
The hard truth for many geeks to accept is that for end users, this represents pretty much the ideal computing experience. This goes way beyond Apple and iDevices and into the realm of general purpose computers like laptops mad desktops.
All one need do is examine the marketing blurbs for the latest OS versions from Apple and Microsoft to validate my claim. Windows 8 features required code signing for installed apps, effectively the beginnings of a walled garden of their own.
As I mentioned previously, Apple lead the charge into the walled garden future I'm predicting with IOS, but with tithe release of MacOS X Mountain Lion, they're filing the rough edges from the computing experience for desktop and laptop users as well.
Honestly it's been rather amusing to,watch the geek-o-sphere practically tremble with rage over this issue, ranting and roaring on about Apple's new found tyranny.
In truth I just don't get it. Gatekeeper can be bypassed with a single key press. What's the big deal? I predict that there will always continue to be trap doors and escape hatches for those who know enough to seek them out.
Apple is in fact not trying to impose some kind of Orwellian new world order and declaring a Jihad on geeks, they're just doing what they've always done, innovating the tech in ways that will improve the quality of life for the majority of users.
Simply put, geeks need to get over themselves. Computing has become such a part of the mainstream of every day life that people don't want or need to be beholden to the techno-priesthood any longer. To my mind, this is nothing but win. Over the long haul, it means we can get out of the business of being family tech support, and get back to playing with technology and having fun pushing the envelope!