and man in his 70s with eyesight on the wane as a 15" monitor is going to give a larger and clearer image.
The accessibility features of OS X are clearly more unified than in XP at least (no idea about Vista). The whole system works with Voiceover (voice assistance) for all widgets of all applications, there are pre-bound key commands for screen zoom and contrast inversion (also accessible for the mouse driver natively). For auditory loss, system alerts can provide visual clues, and mouse and keyboard assistance is provided. On windows, this is scattered about (some in control panel (in different places), some in Utilities in start menu) and you normally need to augment with a set of specialised software to deal with voice assistance as well as Tiger does.
The UK Apple Store uses this phrase and it is simply not true in any sense.
If you do photography work it is, because the Tiger kernel handles memory better than windows (and has done for the last few years), enabling those with large memory configurations to do things windows chokes on. My work desktop machine is a 4GB Dual processor Xeon Dell workstation (£3800 when new). Even with the 3GB switch in boot.ini Photoshop fails to handle large files opened in Tiger with ease! CS3 works slower on XP and Vista than Tiger. I get more bang for the buck here. Amazingly, I prefer to work on my Macbook which has 1/2 the memory than my Dell Workstation.
If you are a writer, the OS provides a native system wide service of dictionary and thesaurus elegantly available to all native apps. No need to have each app with a different dictionary, or download plethora of add-ons (which I did in Windows, some of them good). It is a little thing, but it is there and it works. *And* if you are a writer, the software on Mac is really amazing (Scrivener being my
favourite). I've sampled everything on PC desperately, but I've yet to find anything of the same quality. Windows abounds with apps with buttons everywhere, 10 different toolbars, scattered feature sets. As a writer, I get more bang for the buck, my writing has even improved, because the tools I have are better for the job.
Having spotlight as a system-wide service means my file manager, my launcher, my writing software, my note-taker, my disk monitor can all simply hook into *one* service. Yes I can download google desktop (or app of choice) on PC, then some other app, but it just doesn't all seamlessly gel together. My windows file-manager can't use it. Neither can my writing software. etc.
If you value typography, Tiger has native support for OpenType, allowing ligatures, alternative figure sets, and better contextual kerning in ****all*** apps, not just the $4000 DTP software that has to emulate this stuff in Windows. I am amazed that OS X's notepad can handle proper ligatures when 99% of software on windows cannot. This is core architecture that windows simply fails to provide (even though they co-developed OpenType years ago!). If you value a beautifully laid out book, imagine having the core mechanics of typographical elegance (read Robert Bringhurt's "The Elements of Typographical style and weep) available in the foundations of your OS.
All native apps expose a consistent scripting interface as a core part of the OS, allowing any scripting bridge (ruby, python, PHP, applescript etc.) to easily interact with them. I can use system-wide dictionaries of manipulations to automate most apps and tie them together with less hassle than the (excellent home-grown) automation hacks available for windows. You may get to the same destination, but one is elegantly (I'm currently using Ruby to automate music tagging, and system maintenance), and the other is with blue-tack and string.
Did anyone mention Quicksilver? There is a love of this app amongst its users which is very well founded. It is a great example how the more unified underlying architecture of the OS frameworks (exposed scripting interfaces, OS services) allows an app to greatly leap ahead of anything available on any other platform. It is revolutionary in interface terms in ways that other platforms are still moving forwards to emulate. Mouser is an amazing developer, really brilliant, and FARR is the best goddamn launcher on windows. It is why I first came to DC, and I use FARR when using Windows. My belief is that the OS frameworks which unify OS X, allowing the noun+verb+action paradigm to work effortlessly is just a pure struggle under the Win32 API. No matter how brilliant mouser is, doing ambitious stuff bringing together services between lots of apps is a fight in Windows. Not even the commercial Quicksilver clones (Enso and company), with fancy screen-casts come close to it. I would argue that this is a clear example where a user gets more bang-for-the-buck because the underlying architecture is just more cohesive.
I also have to put up with crap music players (ah, how I miss foobar2000), and Matlab on OS X is flaky (GUI work == hell). Wireshark is X11 based and more buggy than Windows or Linux. But the free-ware and shareware community is vibrant and there are lots of great stuff to play with (we are all geeks after all). I love dabbling with *nix, while still having Adobe Lightroom (
), Illustrator and other pro apps available (and working better than they do in Windows). Thanks to *nix, I *love* that the OS is cleanly separated from apps, cleanly separated from user data. No more registry cleaning, system32 folder examination, services cleaning. OS X doesn't get sluggish after time like Windows has always done, causing the yearly reformat of C:\ [EDIT: system updates don't require annoying restarts like Windows does]
I've helped edit whole short films in FCP running on a standard Macbook, something I was unable to do on my previous Acer.
Apple sucks. Their locking down of music platforms while publicly deriding DRM is hypocrisy of the highest order (though they haven't added DRM crap into the kernel as Microsoft have done). There is a stinking high pile of marketing crap (though I see that as endemic to Western Capitalism, how can a Vacuum cleaner make your life so much fulfilled!?). All the Jobs keynote stuff is just back-patting masturbation by executives tring to peddle their stock value. I would never buy an iPod or iPhone (until they are unlocked) as they give me no value.
And yet I cannot blithely dismiss my current platform as being no better ***IMO*** than what I've used for the previous 12 years. I have less lock-ups, slowdowns, un-reproducible shutdown freezes, less registry tweaking, less spyware battling. I have software which I couldn't find in Windows (and I can run XP in a VM when I need it, intermingling apps as if they were the same OS), while still benefiting from core unique OS X services which I value. More bang for the buck? For me, it clearly is.
And mac, PC, & Peruvian tree-shrew zealots suck! :-P