Originally Posted by hajile
I somewhat agree with your points (maybe not the first one as everyone love the very successful Google). As to Apple hardware, the non-mac alternatives are good as well (I own a 13" macbook in addition to a couple of other non-Apple laptops). The problem with non-Apple products is mostly that the good-quality products are never made available in brick-and-mortar stores. Other companies wouldn't dream of asking Bestbuy to sell a $1700 17" laptop because most people aren't willing to pay that much for a non-Apple computer (even if it were better in every way). I would put my friends carbon VAIO Z up against any aluminum macbook Air. The Sony offers a better screen (1080p), better construction (nothing beats carbon fiber), faster processor (1.8/2.7 vs 2.8/3.5GHz), 8GB RAM (surprisingly not optional for the air), included external dock with BD/6650m graphics (connected via thunderbolt), a half-pound lighter, a slightly worse trackpad, and a bit higher price.
The problem isn't the other manufacturers, it is that people have been marketed into believing that:
1. Apple is more expensive
2. Apple is better
As a result, people are willing to pay more for Apple products while disregarding equal or better options from other manufacturers because of the belief that Apple is better (thus PC makers are forced to make low end PC in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy).
Do you have a link to information showing that Google AI designers (or any AI designers) use Apple products when working? I'm not saying that you're lying, but I don't see any reason for them to. The three tools for AI design are EMACS, LISP and the fastest computer possible. Linux is a better solution for these and most AI work is done in and with Linux.
UNIX lost its edge over Linux years ago. Further, the Mach 3-based kernel used by Apple is inferior where performance is concerned because it is an old, 1st generation microkernel. If they wanted to continue using a microkernel, they should have rewritten the entire thing using L4 (note: most/all of the *BSDs have switched to monolithic kernels).
DPS is patented and copyrighted by Adobe, thus it isn't actually used by Apple (hint: they use PDF).
Quartz extreme is just the fancy name for "hardware accelerated graphics". While the system is nice, Windows (since Vista IIRC) uses a Directx-based hardware acceleration and most desktop Linux users enable a hardware accelerator as well (take a look at Kwin some time, it is amazing and easy to extend). As to coreaudio, it's great, but a RTOS will beat it in performance. I do love just how focused coreaudio is on achieving close-to-realtime playback, but most people can't tell the difference.
Apple keyboards are great when used on a laptop, but not the best. Use a Lenovo Thinkpad keyboard and you'll realize why those who are familiar with them know that they are the best. Apple's keyboard is best only when compared to the >$800 laptops that leave out such luxuries to cut costs. Apple's use of a laptop keyboard for a desktop is awful. Why don't they make a mechanical keyboard instead? (note: I know that most/all other manufacturers use awful keyboards as well, but I don't excuse them either).
Apple's trackpad is fairly ordinary (if not larger than the competitors). What makes Apple's experience better is drivers and how OSX handles input. Notice that both of these are software, not hardware (I hate switching to my Windows partition on my macbook because the touchpad experience isn't nearly as good).
My battery life on my mac is only slightly better on OSX than on Windows for what I do. In my life, I use my desktop for gaming and more intensive tasks (though if it's available, I use it for almost everything). I use my tablet for lightweight media consumption. This leaves my macbook relegated to more processor-intensive tasks when I'm not around my desktop. OSX doesn't get much better battery life than Windows when the computer's not idle (if it is idle, then the optimizations kick in and greatly extend battery life). Since my laptop is either shut (OT: Macbook sleep/awake low latencies are great) or is being used heavily making battery life about the same as any other comparable laptop.
If one is a professional with a decent income, the cost of the software is secondary to what the software can do. Adobe has products that compete with Apple in almost every area of content design and who's better is a discussion for another time. What can be said is that the overwhelming majority of mac owners either don't use content creation products at all or use them so little that a free alternative would be better even if it lacked lots of features.
Tiger vs XP is somewhat unfair as XP launched 4 years before. A comparison of XP vs pre-Tiger would also be unfair because pre-Tiger OSX was terrible (the buggiest OS launch in history has to be either OSX 10.0 or 10.1). Vista vs Tiger would go to Tiger as would Vista vs Leopard. Snowleopard vs Windows 7 would go to (you choose, I don't want a flamewar). Windows 7 vs Lion would go to 7, if for no other reason, because Mission Control destroyed my workflow.