A controversial post from Rixstep
is drawing wide apprehension, disbelief, and cries of "big fat rumor" this weekend. What's all the fuss about? Well, it seems that Apple wants to be large and in charge for when Mac OS 10.7 rolls out. Indeed, there could be "big changes" ahead. And, as Rixstep hints, Apple will exercise absolute authority in ways never before observed in Mac operating systems. According to Rixstep's post yesterday, no software will be able to run on Mac OS X 10.7 without being approved by Apple!
Assuming this all plays out as foreshadowed, this fall Apple will initiate a program to sign up independent software vendors for the 10.7 developer program. Similar to the iPhone's variation of the program, the 10.7 developer program will cost $99 and deliver a host of bells and whistles, like Xcode developer tools and access to online API documentation. But, at the end of the day, devs who have software to push for OS 10.7 will have to get Apple's seal of approval by submitting their products to the App Store just as any developer would today in obtaining access for their work.
According to the report, OS 10.7 will have "kernel support for ('insistence on') binaries signed with Apple's root certificate." But the piece goes on to say that "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."
Of course, there are two sides to every story. And multiple sides (from the dev world, at least) are now surfacing to say that Rixstep's post reads like pure fiction. As a result, countless other devs and websites (including our friends at 9to5Mac
) are firmly keeping this report from Rixstep in the rumor column. One dev in the know even told 9to5Mac that "I'm in the Mac Developer program, and there have been no announcements from Apple about 10.7 whatsoever to developers."
Who's in the know? Who's in the dark?
As more and more developers weigh in on Rixstep's post, it would seem that the information presented yesterday was far from totally accurate. Of course, a lot of people didn't initially believe that Gizmodo had the new iPhone model either. Could there be some morsel of truth to Rixstep's piece? Absolutely. It just might be a while until we know for sure.