I would like to know what your opinion is on the subject,I use linux mint and i recently got into a debate with some mac users about which OS is better i would like to read some extra input on this topic and hear some reasons why one OS might be better than the other.
I am no fan of apple and disagree with their business practices, which in many cases are no better than microsoft, but I have to give them some credit for developing some good hardware and some good software, although most of the time their products are horribly overpriced.
I think OSX is a decent OS mostly because of its BSD heritage. From what I hear it has some interesting features.
Linux and BSD are fully open, free and open source though which offers a lot more flexibility and freedom.
In many cases you are at apple's mercy and you're completely locked in.
With Linux and BSD you are free to take your data and move to another distribution or operating system any time you want or even make your own.
In most cases no OS is "better" than another, although it may be more suitable for your particular uses. The main problem with OS X, as far as I'm concerned, is that it only runs (without a deal of trouble) on a very limited selection of expensive, proprietary hardware. Linux (or any of the genuine BSDs), on the other hand, run on just about any computer you can imagine. I don't like being a hostage to the big corporations.
I prefer not to group Linux and OSX users by their IQ because there are always plenty of exceptions.
Some people just like Macs knowing full well that they are overpriced. I have a non-functioning (dead HDD) Powerbook G4 here which would be a really nice laptop (albeit a little heavy because it's Aluminium and not plastic) if I ever got it working. I wouldn't buy one though, this is just something I got off a friend.
Some Linux users are grandparents whose grandkid set it up for them so that they wouldn't need to deal with the inevitable viruses that less Internet-savvy people are likely to pile into Windows. These grandparents probably don't all have high IQs, or even any real knowledge of how Linux works (which itself doesn't actually require a high IQ, just some patience).
I agree but I'd like to point out that someone who has only used a *nix OS would have some problems learning Windows as well. Not because of their IQ, but because it's just different (in a good or bad way it doesn't matter). When something is fundamentally different your IQ can be high or low and it will still take time to adjust, so I don't think IQ has much to do with problems for people going from Windows to Linux.
I would like an OS that I don't have to deal with at all; that does things itself and makes decisions for me. That pretty much puts Linux out of the picture because it's deisnged to be "interactive." Windows doesn't quite work like that either because it's a high-maintenance OS even though it's what M$ appear to be trying to do by dumbing things down, but OSX is getting there. I want the OS to run almost transparently, because it's the applications that make me productive, and the OS just interferes with my productivity. OSX conflicts with me though because of its ridiculously high price for the OS and the hardware.
The main problem with OS X, as far as I'm concerned, is that it only runs (without a deal of trouble) on a very limited selection of expensive, proprietary hardware.
So it turns out that it used to be the case that apple at least attempted to make a lot of their own hardware, and to their credit they offered diversity to the personal computing market, but this is no longer the case. You see, it doesn't matter how well they test their hardware to try and make it better than other PCs (note: a mac has always been and forever will be a "PC", unless of course you have to share it, in which case it is no longer a "personal computer"), they are now basically just using comodity parts. Oh sure there is some special sauce added to make sure that you "need" a mac in order to run their OS, but the moral of the story is that the company is getting by doing less and they have convinced their users that they are actually getting MORE value. I used to actually hope apple wouldn't go out of business just so that they could keep the personal computing eco-system a little more diverse, but with their shift to x86 processors, they have basically become a more expensive version of Dell (albeit one that maintains their own OS).
In any case, back to the question at hand: Which OS is better? In the words of the wise Linux_0 "All OSes suck, but some suck less than others" (or something to that effect). What it boils down to is what you need the computer to do. If you are wowed by all of apple's software, then by all means, purchase a mac. If you want to play the latest video games, then you will most likely want to build your own desktop tower and use a lightweight version of windows. If you like having as much control over your machine as you want, and you like getting very powerful tools for free, then by all means, build a custom machine and install Linux.
All the OSes have their own strengths and weaknesses. The things Linux seems to do very well are customizability, flexibility, stability, and great price point. It does not do so well in terms of games because up till this point not many people have made games for Linux and the graphics cards didn't have decent drivers from the manufacturers (or even documentation so that the community could make their own drivers). This is all changing though, and as time progresses, the situation seems to be improving. Also, you have to appreciate that there are a lot of great tools that are just being given away (pretty much any of the programming tools come to mind as well as OpenOffice and the OS itself). Windows on the other hand has the strength that it is the dominant platform, so it draws a lot of developers and it is largely backwards compatible, so you can still run your old stuff. Strangely enough, this also seems to be one of its weaknesses in that mistakes made in the past must persist in order to preserve compatability. The things windows does not do well, on the other hand, fill entire discussion forums and won't be discussed here. That just leaves us with apple. Things they do well include extensive hardware/software testing, using the UNIX model for their OS (BSD in particular), and marketing. And, of course, the cons would be marketing, overcharging, encouraging smugness and complacency, vendor lock-in, and removal of much of the user's control.
So basically, you need to decide for yourself what your needs are and see which platform best fits those needs, or if a platform is flexible enough to allow you to tailor it to your needs. The only way you are going to be able to do this is by trying each and seeing what works: I know which platform works best for me because at one point or another I have used all of them (and I will try others in the future). The science of computing is very much one that is filled with tradeoffs, so really only you can decide what will work best. The corollary to that is that you can't decide what will work best for others, so one should never be smug about which computer platform they use (I am looking at you, apple bigots).
Try new things and see what works best. If you enjoy computers, you will undoubtedly find the experience liberating and enjoyable. Best of luck.
All OS's seem to have their Fanboys/Fangirls and I guess I am no exception. An irony is that much of the development done on the "high IQ" OS's cited above (FreeBSD, Linux etc.) is done by engineers who use their personal "Mac's" to accomplish their development efforts! I have personally used FreeBSD, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubunut et al and have to say that they all have their attributes and I love them all for one reason or another. My wife and I enjoy great services on our home network provided by a couple of old PC's running Linux in our basement. In our work my wife and I need to depend on applications that are only available for Windoze (I hate Windows) and many with versions that run on OS X (We love OS X). Our Mac's virtualize Windows XP when necessity demands after which we can return to the ease compatibility and solid performance of OS X.
Don't forget that OS X is a "certified UNIX" operating system. You can go to the Terminal and do pretty much anything that can be done with Linux or the BSD's with just about all the same open source apps available to compile and run on OS X. When you need things to just work OS X will deliver and you can get your work done, all that with the great GUI solutions that OS X offers and with uncompromising support for your favorite gadgets such as iPod's and iPhones without having to spend a lot of time researching and tinkering.
Net, net I love to do cool things with Linux and FreeBSD but when I'm in the work mode and need the compatibility of a great commercial OS I'm going for my Mac. If I had a grandmother who needed to surf the web and get her email without having to worry about viruses and other malware and the budget did not allow a Mac then I'd put together a PC with Ubuntu and call it a day. Everyone's needs are different so the best OS depends on your needs.