An OS with a linux core and a shiny, colorful interface. It cannot run 98% of the games out there, the processors used to be horribly slow compared to any contemporary PC, and once you buy a Mac, Apple owns your soul since every accessory you buy must be from them or licensed by them, and they are very VERY aware of this. Now that Apple finally became unstupid and switched to the Intel platform, the processors are as fast (or exactly the same) as modern PCs, it can play PC games with Bootcamp and a Windows install, but the hardware still isnt caught all up, still uses cheap integrated sound cards.
Laptop with a geforce 8600M GT graphics card, Core 2 Duo processor, 4 gigs of ram, and a 15" screen: $2,000 from Dell, $4,000 from Apple. The difference? An Apple sticker.
Are Macs more stable? Yes! Why? Because any accessory is made, written, and tested by one company, APPLE! Just try to load drivers for a standard USB device not made specifically for an Mac. Kext loading sucks compared to windows driver loading! Windows has the BSOD, but Mac has the Kernel Panic! Just as annoying and nowhere near as helpful, no error messages, no notes, just "Power off now."
Apple just released a pack of 11 security patches last week, so no OS is virus or hack proof. The next time a Macaholic tells you Mac OS never gets viruses, tell him it will because of him, hes making it more popular, so virus writers will go after the bigger targets.
Whats Mac OS good for? Pretentious graphic designers and people who dont want to mess with drivers, deep system tweaking, and games. The computer newbs wont be scared off by a Mac, and they can do almost any task they can think of with included (or sold by Aplle) software.
What are PCs good for? Playing high-end games, causing driver headaches, and having high customization. The more experienced will get more out of it, but a brave newb could figure it out eventually.
Linux is for a completely different market (none since its free) and for a completely different type of computer user. Its customizable as legos, still cant play real games (emulation isnt the same,) and can go into nuclear meltdown if you rename the wrong file.
I have an Insperon 1520 Hackintosh (look it up). It tri-boots XP, Vista, and Mac OS X Leopard. Mac OS is shiny, very responsive, and extremely stable. Vista with a few days of work is also very very shiny, very responsive, and extremely stable if you know anything about computers and can google well. However, you dont have to sell your soul to Microsoft to buy a PC, and you can play all those games.
Prices shown in USD.
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