Of course there are also circular fashions (think hipsters) and political climate. For example today in countries such as Poland, Hungary but also many others, there is a right-wing trend and intense talk of national heritage and so on.
In a climate like this, typographic forms that are historicizing, that are "specifically adapted for the unique flavor of a certain language", that emphasize distinctness of a given local culture rather than convergence within a broader context, become more sought after.
This may be unfortunate if a type designer realizes that her/his noble goals of catering for local quirkiness which stems from love and respect for typographic detail or from exploratory curiosity ultimately ends up as a tool for nationalistic and populist tendencies — but it's fact. Designers of digital revivals of blackletter types will know what I'm talking about.
Microsoft has a much better record than Apple in catering for users and developers of software in professional markets, including custom-developed software or software that costs several times more than the hardware it runs on.
I have both native and virtualized Windows environments and they allow me to easily run apps from the last three decades, including apps from defunct vendors.
Type design and font development tools are a good example here: I occasionally use pieces of old but still useful software on old Windows, all working fine. On the Mac, I cannot say it's possible.
macOS is a fine OS to work on in terms of UI and graphics, but when it comes to stability for developers, it's terrible.
Every few years Apple changes all of its toolchain, removes things that were previously working fine and forces thousands of developers to rewrite large portions of software from scratch.
This does have the "nice" side-effect that developers may charge users upgrade prices because the older versions of their apps stop working on newer macOS, so users come running. On the other hand, on Windows, apps may run forever so users may not be "pressured" into upgrading so easily.
The additional problem with Apple is that they tend to be very secretive, so as a developer, getting detailed information about why something is not working isn't easy. Microsoft always has been more relaxed and cooperative with software vendors.
As for exit strategies — I might agree that using cross-platform apps which you can run on more than one OS is indeed a decent contingency plan. Using software that is heavily tied into just one software (and hardware) platform always poses a certain risk.
Terms evolve as does type design. So in today's world, my take is the following.
— cursive is a structural descriptor: when letters have a structure more related to fluid writing than to mechanical composition; it doesn't matter if they're upright or slanted
— slanted is a structural descriptor: when letters are generally slanted i.e. their normally “vertical” strokes are actually inclined; it doesn't matter if they're cursive or not
— mechanically slanted is a structural descriptor that describes the process of derivation: when letters are made purely by automatic geometric distortion (slanting) of their upright counterparts
— optically slanted is a structural descriptor: when letters look like slanted versions of their upright counterparts but have undergone optical correction
— italic is to me primarily a functional descriptor: when letters serve as a subordinate companion to other, typically upright, letters, used typically for light emphasis; however, some people may have a different notion of italic
— true italic is both structural and functional: when letters are structurally both cursive and slanted, and functionally italic — any other definition would be confusing to me; a copperplate script font is not “true italic” because, while it may be cursive and slanted, it is not functionally an italic
— upright cursive is a structural descriptor: when letters are cursive but they are not slanted — oblique is a structural descriptor: when letters are optically slanted but not cursive; in a sense, oblique is the opposite of upright cursive
— upright italic is both structural and functional: when letters are structurally upright cursive and functionally italic
— faux italic is both structural and functional: when letters are mechanically slanted (could even be from an “upright italic”), and they're functionally italic
If “oblique” is purely structural in my categorization, then I’d admit the term oblique italic, where letters are structurally oblique and functionally italic.
The font in question has an “upright italic” (i.e. its italics are an upright cursive). Pluto and Bree on the other hand are upright cursives without being italics.
Notepad applies kerning and WordPad doesn't but this doesn't make WordPad a lesser testing environment, because people should test the fonts they make in apps their users will use, including not-so-sophisticated apps. Unless of course they only make fonts for very specific environments!
So, of we stick to the overall COMMON skeleton (i.e. leave out the completely different forms like SS ligatures or S with diacritical marks or other graphemic idiosyncrasies), we can all take influence from those people who care.
In the end, in my view, any letterform should be convincing in execution and pleasant to the eye. If a designer had put a lot of thought into it, and cared, it will usually be all-right.
And, in this very period, I value the fact that designers can explore some options. We've laid out the different directions which people can explore, which I think is worthwhile. Some commonalities are emerging, which is also good. Now, we can leave it to our colleagues of trade to form their own opinions, which (thanks to the debates like ours here) can be *informed decisions* — which I think is great.