Originally Posted by skunkbad
Consider this; I just built a computer for my Mom. Nothing too fancy, but Gigabyte mobo, i3 processor, 1TB HDD, and 8GB RAM. Spent about $600.00 in hardware. O/S is under $100 for Windows 7 (I hate Windows 8), or could have used Ubuntu for free, but why can't I buy OSX Mountain Lion? Because it's BS is why. If I could buy the Mac O/S separately I'd be way more likely to turn fanboy. What are they scared of?
It's an issue of support. If Apple started selling Mac OS X for use for "compatible" non-Apple hardware, they would open the door for a support nightmare because they'd now have to deal with support cases for OS X on non-Apple hardware; hardware they don't have any control of. Of course, Apple could decide to say, "We only provide phone/email/retail support for OS X on Apple hardware", but then they would have to deal with public/media backlash. If they end up deciding to provide support for OS X on non-Apple hardware, then they would have to increase support overhead (more employees, more training) which would result in an increased cost of the OS (which existing Mac users would balk at). Seriously, I consider OS X "free" since the cost of the OS is pretty much subsidized by the cost of the hardware.
Of course, there's the 'hackintosh' community where there is a knowledge base of hardware that is compatible with OS X and the workarounds necessary to get OS X on non-Apple machines. I thought about doing this myself. But then you have to worry about OS X not working on that machine whenever Apple releases an OS X update (because it often breaks functionality of OS X on 'hackintosh' boxes). This directly ties into the previous issue of 'support' in that Apple is able to maximize stability of their OS because they focus on it working on specific hardware and don't have to concern themselves about all of the other supposedly 'compatible' hardware out there, which is fundamentally what makes Windows so unstable. Windows itself is a stable OS. The 'instability' is introduced by the hardware drivers and runtime libraries introduced to the OS after the fact.
I've always stated that I was a long time Windows user. Every month back in my college days, all my Comp Sci buddies and I would hit the computer show and buy new hardware to upgrade our rigs and LAN party every weekend. I was heavy into Linux at the time as well (and later to FreeBSD when I became more server administrator oriented).
Then when OS X v10.1 came along, I realized it offered the best of Windows and Linux: a great windowing GUI on Unix core (I still don't like any of the windowing systems on Linux) with all the major enterprise and commercial software packages (Photoshop, Office, etc).
I understand that hardware cost is far better for Wintel vs Mac. But I still find that OS X is still the best OS for all things I do:
- Windows and Active Directory Administration
- Administration of Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD servers
- Security administration (e.g. firewalls and IDM)
- Photography post-processing workflow
- Development / Programming
and I'm willing to pay more for Apple hardware to use OS X.
But to each his own.