Jean-Louis Gassée on Apple’s Next Macintosh OS:
The main cause of OS cancer is backwards compatibility, the need to stay compatible with existing application software. OS designers are caught between yesterday and tomorrow. Customers want the benefit of the future, new features, hardware and software, but without having to jettison their investment in the past, in their applications.
OS architects dream of a pure rebirth, a pristine architecture born of their hard won knowledge without having to accommodate the sins of their fathers. But, in the morning — and in the market — the dream vanishes and backwards compatibility wins.
Enter the iPhone.
Courtesy of John Gruber.