|Have been trying to stay out of this (even though I apparently inspired it) but will put in my 3 cents:
1. I was a MacPaint user in the 80s but feel as a visual artist that MSPaintbrush (and to a much lesser extent its current incarnation MSPaint) is superior and fun. It just handles better. It's not really a clone--it was an independent product that Microsoft bought and renamed.
2. Music making for Windows is a completely different "head" than music making for a Mac. A lot of it is the shareware plug-ins and being able to strip Windows down and add and subtract programs. I am told that you can't delete a program once its installed on a Mac--is that still true? Mac seems to want to do everything for you--I don't like that.
3. Mac is great if you like working in a completely designed environment, it's like driving a nice car. My driving needs are get me from point A to point B and I like a stick shift. I personally don't like the smooth interface and the drop shadows.
4. I think it's important for artists to poke around outside any wall-to-wall creative environment, to not completely trust it, since someone else created it for you. I sense that academia--especially art and music--has settled into Mac and is growing completely out of touch with (or snotty or indifferent to) working stiffs and their problems outside the ivory tower. I love working with the plebe computer, the cubicle computer.
5. I hate Mac's hipster campaign and the whole vibe they're trying project. That doesn't mean loving Windows. With Windows, though, it's easier to make the whole lifestyle thing disappear, just use the classic XP interface and strip out useless services.
Just some quick predictable responses from me because I'm sure everyone loves this discussion :-)
1. I guess this is debatable, but I think it's pretty hard to argue that MSPaintbrush wasn't a MacPaint clone (or that whatever program Microsoft bought and renamed wasn't a MacPaint clone.) Apple was doing this stuff several years before anyone else (especially with the Apple Lisa.) Still you may well like MSPaintbrush better. I guess this really doesn't matter. My point was something more like "there are tons of graphics programs for the Mac that aren't Adobe Photoshop."
2. I think this really depends on what software you are using. Logic is one thing, GarageBand is another, Audacity is yet another, and on and on. There is definitely not one "head" in terms of making music on the Mac. Shareware plugins abound just like on Windows. And as Mark said, deleting programs on the Mac is incredibly simple. Easily the simplest of all modern operating systems. The application looks like a single file, although it's really a "bundle" with all necessary program files inside of it (right click the file to see what's inside - it's not encrypted or locked or anything, just bundled up for ease of use.) To install you just drag to your applications folder. To uninstall you just drag to your trash. That's it. (With the exception of some lame Adobe software that does scatter some files a bit more widely.)
3. This is true in terms of the GUI that Apple ships. But it's really a full blown UNIX system. Open up the Terminal and there's the command line. No graphics whatsoever and total control right down to the bare metal. Or install X-11 and get that sort of no frills environment. Just because it has a polished outer layer doesn't mean that is the only way to use it or that you are locked into that mode.
4. Fair enough. But this seems not really to be a pro Windows point so much as a desire to use certain less refined (less all in one) software. Such software is available on Windows and on Mac which is the only point I'm really trying to make. Academia may have standardized on Final Cut Pro, say, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to edit film on the Mac. But I agree with your point for sure. Look around. There is a ton of software options on Windows and on Mac OS.
5. I don't like the campaign either. And my intuition is that it's not effective. I think people naturally sympathize / connect with the PC character. Not sure I would base my computing environment decisions on that, but clearly it's a personal choice. I'm not arguing against using Windows here. I'm just saying that the argument that Macs have less software than Windows (or, by extension, that the Mac locks you into doing things in a certain way) is untrue. Both OSes have huge software ecosystems, and while the Windows world is numerically larger, the Mac OS world is large enough that this difference in size doesn't matter. There's no real world advantage to having 123 graphics editors rather than 89.
Most importantly, thank god there is choice. If either Windows or Mac OS completely defeated the other (obviously won't happen at this point, but it almost did in terms of Windows "winning") then all forward movement would stop due to lack of competition. I'd like to see Linux (which is actually pretty polished with a distribution like Ubuntu) gain some market share and introduce even more choice. So it's all good and I'm happy you like the setup you have, but I'm not sure you have really seen the depth and variety of software that's available on the Mac.