"Fantastic!"4.5 starson by LinuxAddict2010
Pros: Spotlight, Dashboard, and Exposé are boons to one's productivity; it just keeps getting faster; it's not Windows
Cons: The Dock isn't that good for power users; user interface and font must be changed with shareware utilities
Summary: Apparently I lived under a rock for the past few years. The last time I had heard of a Mac, it ran OS 9 and sported a PowerPC processor. OS 9 was beautiful and easy to use, but it was crashy and had frameworks from 1984 creakingly holding up the modern interfaces (USB and Firewire, anybody?). I preferred to stick with what I knew, and what I knew was Windows.
But when I purchased my first Mac in late 2006 (a MacBook), Tiger came preloaded on the machine, so I was kind of stuck with it. (I didn't know how to configure Linux to run on it, and a copy of Windows was too expensive.) But I wanted to use a Mac, so I dug in.
And I haven't been disappointed.
OS X boasts a superb and robust Unix-style kernel at its base, fundamentally different from the proprietary kernel at the core of OS 9 and below. Elements of NextStep, FreeBSD, and some parts of Ye Olde OS 9 also come together to form the OS we know and love as Mac OS X. It's fast, secure, suited for all kinds of tasks from development to serving a website, and features Apple's legendary ease of use.
If you step back from the marketing spin that Apple puts on OS X for a second and evaluate it purely on its own merits, it's as close as we'll get to computing nirvana. Or at least it is for novices and basic users. Power users will have to get used to the Mac way of doing things (or the OS X way of doing things, at least), and foremost among that way of doing things is the application launcher and monitor known as the Dock. The Dock permits you to keep tabs on all the applications that are running at any given time on your computer, and it also lets you launch applications that you put there. The design is elegant and yet poorly thought out: by using pictures only, if you put more than one folder in your Dock (I had twelve at last count), you have to hover over them to see which is which. That's no way to keep giving yourself even more RSI.
I'm happier to report that window management in OS X is unparalleled. Exposé is a wonderful solution that gives you a bird's-eye view of your open windows or your desktop with just a tap of a key (either F9, F10, or F11). On the small screen of a MacBook, Exposé is the best thing to come along since the advent of two-button mouse support.
Everything is easier on the Mac, from using Bluetooth peripherals (oftentimes, all you have to do is turn the peripheral on and make sure your computer's Bluetooth adapter is on) to syncing with your cell phone (iSync) to browsing the Internet (Safari). Apple has demonstrated once again that the best solutions aren't necessarily the most difficult to use, and their statement that Tiger is the most advanced OS on the planet is well qualified.
My only complaint comes from the world of Linux and being able to customize my OS's appearance at the drop of a hat (the KDE environment comes to mind) without extra utilities. On the Mac you have to pay extra for that privilege.