About a week ago I got a MacBook Pro for work on various projects that required extremely deep integration in OSX. It's a fairly recent Core2Duo one with Leopard loaded on it.
I have to say that for the longest time, probably since I ever got mutually acquainted with Windows and Mac at school, I've never been comfortable about the behavior of Macs. This, I think, stems from the one-button mouse and it being "different"... Sadly such an odd annoyance blew itself up into unreasonable discomfort w/ Macs... even when a two-button mouse hooked up to one added the 'real' right-click behavior expected... and (later on) Linux itself was always different... even to itself...
In the meantime between elementary school and now, I hadn't had long exposure to Macs except for testing. I got acquainted with Linux, Solaris, and some other flavors of Unix in my computer science curriculum at Michigan State University, but virtually nothing touched Mac... As many may know, I got hooked on Linux early in my college years and checked out many of the interesting ways you can manage applications/windows/etc.
Now... onto the MacBook Pro experience.... After taking some time to figure out how all the things worked in OSX at the user-level, things started to make sense to me. Just like getting used to the differences between Windows and Linux UIs available, the OSX UI had its own peculiarities. Once I understood/worked-around the differences, work with OSX became significantly more likeable... even preferred many times.
I'd have to say that OSX combines many of the things found in Windows and Linux (though its alot more likely that Windows takes Apple ideas.. but that's another story) and puts it into an extremely stable/friendly environment. It has some of the UI and system unity that Windows strives for... and also a fully integrated *nixy environment that makes putting OSS software in extremely easy. More truthfully, OSX shrinkwraps a custom conglomerate of Open Source Software (ex: Darwin) and oodles of gloss (Aqua + the builtin software suite) into a user-friendly/fault-tolerant system.
In short here's my view of the different basic systems:
- Windows - it's the common machine that must be used in certain situations
- Linux - it's a GREAT high-performance testing ground for neat technologies, server software, and oddly-enough games (often running Windows ones better than 'real' windows can)
- OSX - the stiff-but-friendly system that keeps software fallout extremely contained