Just reading through this article on Arstechnica ( link ) regarding the latest release of Mint Linux (which originally started as a fork of Ubuntu) and how the rest of the industry seems to be enamoured with making a desktop operating system look like a tablet one – basically a wall to wall Windows 8.1 (Windows 10 reverse that but it is still a mess) clusterfuck all because someone gets a brain fart thinking that ‘one size fits all’ is really going to work (even though almost every attempt in every industry to try and be ‘everything to every one’ ultimately results in no one being happy with the end result). The article goes on about how the Linux community went through their own ‘phase’ where Ubuntu developers along with GNOME developers saw fit to take it upon themselves to turn everything upside down because what worked was no longer cool so they felt the need to re-invent the wheel all the sake of being ‘hip’ and ‘at the fore front’ (insert MBA buzzwords as required).
I for one like the traditional desktop and I’ll hold onto it like an hold battle axe because it does the job even if it lacks the necessary buzz words to some how remain relevant to the new screen touching generation. There is still very much a vibrant desktop and laptop market – the upgrade cycle has been pushed out to 3-4 maybe 5 years in some cases but in the case of the Mac most end users have been on that long upgrade cycle for quite some time so whilst the rest of the industry has had to adapt to the new reality of a longer upgrade cycle, Apple was already there and their business model is based around that long upgrade cycle (hence as I’ve always said about the ‘race to the bottom’ coming back to bite the big PC vendors in the ass).
Apple years ago (before Steve Jobs died) had a presentation as to the folly of touch based interfaces on the desktop (see gorilla arm and as Steve Jobs put it, “looks great for demonstrations but horrible in the real world”) and the attempt by Microsoft with their ‘one size fits all’ universal applications that attempt to be everything to everyone but ultimately sucking in all the scenarios it tries to operate in. Where as Microsoft tried the ‘top to bottom all the same approach’ where as Apple has more success with harmonising the frameworks between iOS and OS X with the net result are applications that can share a common code core with the time spent on delivering a unique front end which caters for the specific requirements of each form factor.