So lately, I’ve been thinking about both platforms. I’ve been thinking about switching from Win32 to the Mac OS X land. The best way to make the judgement is to use both and compare. Luckily, for a little while at work, I got to use an eMac while developing the Plaxo for Thunderbird extension. Here are some observations:
Windows gets the keyboard. On a Mac, unless you dig and dig, it is hard to navigate the UI with just the keyboard. On Windows, this is established and natural. I find this to be an absolute Must Have for OS X before I switch. They are moving towards this. The Mac even looked outside of its own realm and copied the ALT-TAB idea from Windows. They need to go much farther.
The Mac is just retarded with the single menu at the top. Every Mac person I talk to gets defensive about this. Eventually, this will fall too just like the whole “I really only need one button on a mouse”. I mean come on. With wide screen displays, why should I move my mouse ALL THE WAY to the left in order to change a preference when the App is all the way to the right. This will clearly end only when Steve Jobs tells his flock that this is OK to have as a preference.
Update: Lack of debugging tools. No strace or truss! No winspy!
Mac nits: (not deal breakers)
The one button mouse. (Easy to fix)
The Terminal app STILL sucks. After 15 years, you would think they could get this right. (Probably easy to fix).
Costs. (Although less so. In fact, I think this will switch over. Microsoft is trying to squeeze more $$ from their customers, and succeeding.)
Their reluctance to REALLY innovate in the App-Kit layer. They need to figure out a new path for the post Objective-C world. They need a component object model. I mean compare Safari to Firefox.
Smaller market for skill set.
More, Not Invented Here but clearly being done everywhere else surprises?
Microsoft is catching up again.
Unix. No comprimises have to be made. Web servers, PHP, vi. Nice!
95% of what I do is free or bundled on a Mac. (Web, IM, Free compiler tools)
Great graphics engine (Quartz and the PDF for free rendering are excellent.)
It looks really nice… good experience.
Great for video and media.
Great hardware, everything works.
No spyware worries.
Both are a bit bloated.
Both force me to compromise in some way.
They don’t suck like Linux.