I was asked for advice today from someone who was apprehensive about buying a new Mac, and wanted to know my opinion. This, of course, is sort of like going up to Dick Cheney and saying "You know, I'm not sure about that Iraq thing. What do you think?"
Microsoft, ladies and gentlemen, is a cheap whore. She lives on the fringes of the law, but there's no getting rid of her because she fulfils a certain need in our society. People want what she is selling.
There's a certain painted-on mystique to her, of course. We've all been indoctrinated with the propaganda, the hooker with the heart of gold, the disturbingly wide-mouthed Pretty Woman. When you find her, though, beneath the paint she's really quite plain. You take what you need from her, but reluctantly and because you have no alternative. You get what you want, but she is almost peripheral to the act.
Apple is a lover.
From the moment you meet her, you know that she wants you to be happy. She wants to be a part of your life, and you can't help but be drawn into wanting to be a part of hers. She is beautiful and elegant in ways that the layers of paint on the Microsoft street-walker can only desperately try to imitate.
I have bought more software for my Mac than I ever did for my Windows PCs, most of it shareware. Is it really that much higher quality? Or am I buying her presents?
There is one danger, though. So long as you are careful to protect yourself from infection, Microsoft can not hurt you. Microsoft is a transaction, and if the transaction goes sour, you're only out of pocket. When your lover hurts you, she can break our heart.
And Apple, for all her charm and grace, is notoriously thoughtless at times: scratch the surface of the Internet and you'll find a string of bitter, abandoned ex-'s who still curse her name.
And yes, this is possibly the most disturbing post I've ever written.
(See also: And Linux is your psychotic ex...)