I’m not going to tell you that this dot is the worst thing in the world; for many users, it does something useful and maybe even saves their bacon in case, say, you’re in a Zoom call and you didn’t realize it.
But this little orange dot represents a lot. It represents the difference between your computer doing what you want it to do, and the maker of that computer deciding a solution for you. Now, in many cases, we are OK with the decisions that companies like Apple and Microsoft make, because they make our lives easier, or keep us more secure, or make things more consistent across platforms. But there is a contingent of computer users who are trying to push the edges of their computing devices, or are using them in ways that intentionally aren’t the norm, and that invisible hand creates problems for them.
This is an issue I’ve seen a lot in my own use cases, such as when I tried downgrading from a beta of Monterey to Big Sur. By creating for the 80 percent, they leave the 20 percent who are unmoored by the limits of their device frustrated, with the giant company scaring them off because they end up being a relatively unprofitable audience for them anyway. Just one problem with that, however: Those professionals can’t really leave, not if they built their career on Logic or Final Cut, just as an example.
Apple and Microsoft make most of their money off of people who use their products in normal ways. But the people who brush against the edges of those products represent a disproportionate amount of the mindshare. And they have that mindshare for a reason.