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Mac Developer Program Update
Apple are charting the future of computing.
CUPERTINO (Rixstep) — Apple began charting the future of their flagship computer Mac OS X today as the developers of tomorrow finally learned how they'll be able to participate in it.
Many a pundit has seen signs the platform was being abandoned in order to concentrate more on the mobile platforms, but it seems the ordinary computer isn't dead just quite yet after all.
That end might be close for other reasons but it won't be for Apple's lack of support.
Apple will begin signing up independent software vendors (ISVs) for the 10.7 developer programme by early autumn 2010. Membership will cost $99 just as the iPhone programme and will include a number of benefits including free downloads of the Xcode developer tools and access to online API documentation.
Developers planning on marketing software for 10.7 will submit their products to the App Store as iPhone and now iPad developers have already done. 10.7 will have kernel support for ('insistence on') binaries signed with Apple's root certificate.
No software will be able to run on Mac OS X 10.7 without being approved and signed by Apple, Inc.
Everything's in Place
Apprehension in the ISV sector has grown not only because people see signs of change in Apple's website but also because Apple's technologies for their mobile platforms are already in place on their computer platform (where for the moment they're totally irrelevant).
Slapping a root certificate on a binary running Snow Leopard or earlier doesn't change anything: the certificate represents an additional executable section that can easily be removed. Individual apps can of course check for the presence of a certificate, but it's not before the OS kernel itself insists on this certificate that program execution is totally in Apple's control.
It's expected there'll be efforts to 'jailbreak' 10.7 just as there have been with the iPhone and iPad systems.