I do basically all of my computing these days (excluding time at work) on either Mac OS X or Ubuntu Linux. I also have high-hopes for the Haiku OS, even though it’s not ready for prime time just yet. I am not a fan of Windows, as any long-time reader will be well-aware, and only use the wayward Microsoft operating system on the computer provided by my employer and in a Parallels Desktop testing environment.
I just read a really interesting article by Peter Bright at Ars Technica that provides a great—albeit technical—background of Windows and Mac OS as they exist today from the perspective of a former software developer on the Windows platform who has left for the greener pastures of Mac OS.
All-in-all, I agree with Bright. Apple and Microsoft both had aging operating systems in the mid-to-late 1990s that were not well suited for modern applications or for the constant networking (and networking threats) brought by the Internet. Apple started over with Mac OS X, a ground-up redo of Mac OS based on the work of the UNIX community and NeXT. Microsoft, while leaping forward with the technically advanced NT Kernel (the ‘core’ that runs Windows NT, 2000, XP, and Vista) long before Mac OS X made it to market, failed to remove all the cruft that surrounds it and continues to hobble Windows today. Here’s hoping the next version of Windows goes back to the drawing board and brings us something great.