I was very impressed reading though this debate.
Some of my comments are a little late, but here goes:
I have been a mac user for about 10 years, and have two macs at home (running panther) and a pc box at work (running xp). I find Windows to be a clunky operating system, and I hate the way it forces popups and balloons and *wizards* in my face telling me what it can do for me, or what I've done wrong. Apple expects their users to be pro-active: if the user wants something to be set up or modified, they are free to do so. Microsoft forces their customers to be reactive, by attempting to predict what the user wants to do, and slamming dialogue boxes in their face (I'm sure you're all familiar with the IE pop-ups about entering secure sites).
That being said, Apple and Microsoft are good for each other. Competition forces software and operating systems to improve. Both companies have obviously copied ideas from each other, and these have improved their products greatly. An example that comes to mind is the "Open With..." context menu that Apple put into OS X. This came straight from Windows but it was a necessary feature.
It is disappointing to see Apple not issuing two or three button mice with their computers, but I can understand their reasoning, and I appreciate that they still fully support these devices. I personally love my scroll wheel wheel and right click button.
The alt + Tab application switcher was not stolen from XP. It was actually implemented way back in OS 9.
Apple did release OS X early. But public testing is the fastest way to bring software past the beta stages. If a beta release of Long Horn was made available, I'm sure it would come onto the shelves much faster than the way it's going now.
Apple should not be charging as much as they are for the OS 10.x upgrades. They have virtually abandoned OS 10.1 and Jaguar (and OS 9, but this was necessary!) and should treat their customers with more loyalty by lowering the cost of the updates, and making money off the sales of new machines instead.
Someone said something about Apple losing a market share from 5% to 3%, and that being a 40% loss. This is not necessarily so. The 3 and 5% figures have obviously been rounded. It is possible, therefore that the real figues were closer to 3.4% and 4.5%, which brings the total loss towards 25%, much less than 40%.
A lot of this debate depends on how the machine running OS X or XP is set up. All these processor speed comparisons don't really matter; it's the way your computer is set up and used that will determine how fast it performs. And anyway, at the end of the day does it really matter that you've spent an extra 5 mins rendering? The fact is, that by the time you buy your computer, its successor has already been built and your machine is not the fastest. All this contradicting test data about processor speeds leads me to the conclusion that Macs and PCs perform at similar rates.
Cables? When strip down both PCs and Macs to a bare minimum, they're both fairly clean. My current setup is a mess, with my phone line and speakers and printer and iPod and DL burner all plugged into my iMac.
Mac OS X needs 512 Mb of memory to run? I have a five year old iMac with only 384 Mb of RAM and it runs very smoothly on Panther even when multitasking (and using exposÃ© I might add).
Although this debate will never be decided, I do think Mac OS X is superior to Windows XP. My reason is stability (although I did find Jaguar more stable than Panther). The "Force Quit..." dialogue simply works when there is a hang, and you can recover immediately in OS X. The other day at work however, the XP task manager became listed as "Not Responding" when I tried to force Excell to quit. How can you end tasks when your task manager dies?
I will continue to support Apple. They're not perfect, but I believe they're thinking forwards, and so far it's been a smooth ride.
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/125.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/125.7