I just don’t trust Microsoft. Forced updates and OS upgrades, telemetry, OneDrive uploading files it shouldn’t (known malware log files containing user data/keylogger). The Control Panel is a mess of “Metro” crap and traditional Control Panel panes. NTFS is a dinosaur filesystem, everyone going to SSDs isn’t the solution to a FS that needs defragged. They have resigned the old desktop to “classic/legacy” while the Windows Store and unified Apps are the way forward. The design language is awful for desktop use cases, tapping a hamburger menu for a slide out settings menu that completely wastes screen space and increases actions to complete the same goal isn’t efficient or ergonomic. How about auto-installing “Candy Crush” and pinning it to your start menu or forcing Apps on you like Groove Music that a reasonable user can’t delete? What about the talk of Ads being placed in the start menu? People give Apple a hard time due to the walled garden effect but Microsoft also applies. Oh, and I absolutely don’t like the design guy of the Surface, I watched the Surface Pro 4 keynote and the guy reminded me of a crusty Best Buy salesman trying to talk you into Geek Squad services. The gold chain completes the look!
I want to love Linux, I really do. I still love Linux on my servers, CentOS for my web hosts and Ubuntu for my docker and experimental hosts. The thing is, Linux is simply too fragmented for desktop use cases. I don’t want to be compiling kernels or praying my environment doesn’t break to use the latest hardware or run apt-get update. I like the design language of GNOME once you add Dash2Dock – I even carried over the upper left hot spot to give me an overview of my windows on OS X. The stock apps in GNOME work okay, not stellar. For example while the Photos and Google Drive integrations work, they all operate over some web API which cause bad user experience when loading multiple photos or accessing Drive due to lag. They are from a design perspective only approach, palatable. Everyone and their mother is forking everything which leads to massive amounts of duplicate work with no real progress in terms of stability. I’m reading through the Bazaar and the Cathedral and there is much to love from that model – but I feel as if Linux could do better with a governing body who sets standards on for example, which display server will be used or init. Maybe even which software packager to use would be nice, no need for several!
So why OS X:
I believe OS X from the abstract level, blends the Cathedral and Bazaar models well enough to have something usable. You have the underpinnings of UNIX with the polish of a capitalistic company providing a hierarchy of order. On some level, I can approach my Apple products with the mindset that “it just works”, I suppose I should also join the Ruby on Rails Kool Aid Kids? Included applications are full featured and tightly integrated to the base OS (for better or worse) and most have a decent workflow. While there isn’t an official package manager per se, there is the App Store which is a unified way to install and update “classic” desktop applications. I don’t agree with the proprietary hardware designs such as why is the SSDs proprietary when there is PCIE M2 or why the casings try to use proprietary screws? Yes, hardware is overpriced for sure, otherwise Apple wouldn’t be reaching the richest company ever – but if each dollar is a vote and especially considering we all know it’s overpriced, then which company is voted for often enough to about to become the richest company?
I worked for Apple for some years, doing Applecare support. I never used a Mac since my first computer back on OS 7 and never owned an iOS device (which was funny as each new model came out, customers would ask how I like the new 5s whatnot – I replied I’m still using my Nexus 4). Apple provided an iMac and iPod to work on and a handsome discount which I purchased a Macbook Air. While I enjoyed my work life on Apple products, personally I felt anti-consumer towards it and felt those who used Apple products are lame. The reckoning came when I handed off the Macbook Air to my partner and attempted to go either full Windows 10 or Linux with Gnome 3.18. I did this for several months and loved Linux when it worked but went crazy when it broke. One day I opened PuTTy after I reinstalled Windows due to Ubuntu Gnome taking a dump after a kernel update, tapped start to open up PageAnt to load up my private key (every freaking time) and decided enough was enough. I went out and got a Macbook Pro 13 and iPhone 6s and never looked back.