My Mac crapped out last week — backlight died, which made it a little tricky to use. I was without it for about 6 days while Apple repaired it, but that’s sort of beside the point — during the time it was away I used a PC in the office. And I have to say that it really helped me understand that I really like OS X. I like using it, I like looking at it.
Now, it’s not perfect (window layering model is not good; UI when you’re using multiple large monitors is not good), but it’s a good, powerful, mostly human-centered experience. That’s awesome.
I’m a slightly unusual case in that I use both my OS X machine and my Windows desktop at home every single day — I like going back and forth. I think there are many things that Windows does better. I think that a lot of the innovative stuff comes out first on Windows. I like Quicken on Windows a lot better. I think Windows menuing works better for large & multiple monitors. (Mac UI nerds (I am one, of course) will start yelling at me about Fitt’s Law, but should stop, because it’s bogus and doesn’t hold for screens the size that we have today (or for mouse targets that are over on the other screen of your multiple monitor setup).) Having said that, I think most of the disruptive innovations are happening not on Windows or the Mac, but on the Web.
Another thing that I’m trying to sort out: Apple really understands how people want to use computers & technology, but in funny ways, they don’t really get the Web. (Everyone can start yelling at me about this, too.) .mac is sort of close to the mark. Photocasting is kind of there. But photocasting, while it nominally uses RSS, won’t really work in the browser. As compelling as iLife and .mac are (and they are super compelling), they’re not really in the spirit of the web.
So here’s the thing: I’m not religious about it, but lately I just like using my Mac more. I’m very glad that I have a PC, also, and plan to have the dual setup for good, more or less.