OS X L...inux?

It occurs to me that there is one other operating system with an 'app' ecosystem similar to the app store, and even an online distribution method that parallels the automatic installation and update paradigm employed by apple. That operating system is Linux. Anyone who's used Ubuntu (my distribution of choice when I was tinkering in that area) will be familiar with the built in installer and the auto-update features. Though the content is universally free and open source the development community is thriving. This should be the effect we see in OS X over the next few months. An expansive development ecology based around focused, task-oriented software in a high-competition environment. The exact environment that drives the exceptionally passionate Linux development community should spur a similar drive among the Mac community.

I actually had something of a muted response to the app store myself. I am the kind of user who, when a need is identified, will go out and find a tool for the job. If I don't have a need for something I don't really care much about it. I'm not the kind to casually browse and try apps out of idle interest, as the lack of apps on my iOS devices confirms. So I excitedly fired up the app store to be confronted by Angry Birds and innumerable other apps I have no particular interest in. However, I still see the potential in this distribution platform. I've been an avid Steam loyalist for years and the principle is the same. This is an excellent development and a valuable option for developers and users alike.

Friday Feature: Post a Week 2011

A Hairier Future