[This is a lightly edited comment I made in response to Greg Ferro’s blog post, Windows Tools Aren’t Worth Selling. In a nutshell, Greg argued that Windows and Microsoft software are known to be defective and you should switch to Mac for security, stability, and cost savings.]
I will not argue that the Mac is not fantastic, but I will argue with this general sentiment that everything Microsoft/Windows is rubbish. I won’t bother arguing the quality of previous versions of the software, but Windows 7 is stable and fast. While Windows may lack some of the elegance of MacOS X, the security and stability of these two modern operating systems is comparable. In 2 years I have had 2 crashes across 4 Win7 machines. None have had the need to be reinstalled (such as seemed necessary every 6 months with XP). Both crashes were related to bad drivers, which is the source of most problems on Windows boxes.
Windows 7 does not crash every day. It very rarely crashes. This seems similar to MacOS.
Windows 7 also has a quite good backup mechanism built in. Totally different than the garbage in earlier versions.
Win7 certainly does have the limit of not having the full suite of extremely useful UNIX tools and a POSIX environment. I spend a lot of time in a terminal window connected to a Linux box or on a Linux VM. I find this preferable to having to run most of my tools in a VM (since most of my tools are written for Windows) as I would have to on a Mac. This, of course, depends on personal taste and how your apps run in a VM as well as how many apps you would need in a VM. Having to run Windows in a VM is going to cost you a lot more RAM than running a Linux box in a VM.
The hardware to run Windows is cheaper than equivalent Mac hardware. On the other hand, the quality of the Windows hardware is not as good and you will occasionally run into issues with drivers. MacOS should not have that problem.
Use the tool that works best for your needs. Weigh your options and needs, and choose the tool that works best for you. Fear of changing to the unknown is a lousy reason to stick with Windows. If the tool isn’t working for you, try a different tool. Anti-Microsoft/Windows FUD is an equally lousy reason to switch to Mac. Curiosity is a perfectly good reason and I’d encourage that, but expect a learning curve and frustration with the Mac Way.
That statement regarding companies sticking with known defective products for fear of the unknown and fear of cost when things could be improved by switching to Mac is FUD. That will totally depend on the organization and is hardly a valid generalization. I’ve seen admins trying to manage thousands of Macs. It’s no easier or cheaper than managing Windows boxes. You often end up having to deploy VMs to support Windows applications. You have a training nightmare because at this point most people know Windows, but a small (but growing) minority knows the Mac. I can see the potential for a small or highly technical organization to save money in the long run with Apple, but I think that’s the exception right now.
I’m not a consultant or field engineer, so I can’t speak to policies regarding connecting the prohibition of connecting Windows laptops to other networks, but I would say this requirement falls under use the right tool for the job.