Apple is a very polarizing brand with many fan boys and haters. This article takes a step back and will objectively list out where Apple differentiates itself from it’s competitors. If you haven’t tried a Mac computer yet then you are likely not aware of many small areas where Apple distinguishes itself from it’s competitors.

The Apple OS has more upgrades that come in regular release cycles and are reasonably priced at around $30. There is typically on one version of an upgrade. The OS X operating system comes in 2 flavors: standard and server edition. Windows 7 is expensive to upgrade and comes in Home ($120), Professional($200), and Ultimate editions ($220). For server software you would use Windows Server 2008. Microsoft is actually hurting itself in several major ways by not having more release cycles at lower costs. Having multi year release cycles along with expensive upgrade costs for Windows leads to adoption inertia and expensive resources maintaining older operating systems. When Microsoft had far less competition in the operating system space this was a huge advantage. The competition is now much more fierce and their business model of long dev cycles and expensive upgrades is not allowing them to keep up with the innovation of their competitors in as timely fashion as they would like. Apple is really only ever maintaining 2 operating systems at a time, their current release and the last release. Microsoft is maintaing XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

The Apple OS has the Unix command line built in, so for keyboard connoisseurs you have a very powerful command prompt at your finger tips. Windows 7 does have a great command line called PowerShell available. PowerShell is in many ways superior to the Unix command line as it is in many ways a superset of the Unix command line.

The Mac has many nice utilities built in that make it very easy to use.