So in short, this really is the beginning of the end for computing as we know it.
I many respects, yes.
There seems to be an industry trend where the end-user is increasingly being seen (not without good reason) as a data "consumer" rather than a data creator.
The proposed changes in OS and interface design simply reflect that change in industry perspective.
And now that there's sufficient momentum and numbers in the very industry open standards helped create, there's a concerted effort to move away from those same standards, now that many in the industry feel "open" has served it's purpose. The same thing happened with radio and television technologies.
Even so-called open platforms like Android don't reach the consumer in anything other than locked-down forms as provided by the telcos.
What we're witnessing is the classic "wagon circling" that breaks out once any market reaches a certain level of maturity, and new customers become increasingly hard to come by. Hence the push for proprietary devices and operating systems which are locked into one vendor's app store. Apple did it. And now everybody else seems intent to follow that same business model.
And for those who want to jailbreak their devices, there's still an ongoing effort by many manufacturers to find a way to legally prevent them from doing so. Small surprise when you consider that those who most often argue for legislation and regulation usually came out of the broadcasting, telco, and cable industries.
In an interview, Steve Jobs dissed laptops and netbooks - and held up an iPhone. "This is the future." he said.
There's a good chance he may be right since it seems to be what most people want to buy. Where that leaves us geeks and techno-wonks is anybody's guess. Thank heavens for Linux. Or at least as long as Ubuntu's vision for the Unity desktop doesn't prevail.