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Why Microsoft Shouldn't Copy Apple's iOS Walled Garden 244

Kethinov writes "Will the computers of the future be tools for freedom or for censorship? An insightful Ars editorial examines this question in depth, concluding that Apple's walled garden approach to iOS is fundamentally flawed and thus Microsoft should reconsider their plans to apply the same model to WinRT. The authors are careful to present a nuanced analysis that adequately weighs the competing interests of security, convenience, and user freedom, ultimately concluding that Mac OS X and Android offer better models because while their walled gardens are on by default, they offer supported mechanisms to opt-out if desired, thereby offering users the same security and convenience benefits without sacrificing user freedom in the process." A similar article by software engineer Casey Muratori looks at the effect Windows 8's closed distribution system will have on game development. The restrictions involved in getting approval for the Windows Store would preclude 2011's game of the year, Skyrim, from appearing there, as well as 2012's top candidates. The requirements contain clauses that would cut out huge swathes of the video game industry, like this one: "Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity."

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