Originally Posted by Dr_Watso
It's not always for looks, in fact, probably more often, it's supposedly for ease of use. I'll give you a few examples and hope a fight doesn't break out...
For example. Windows has always been very context-driven. Windows is designed with the requirement of more than one button on the mouse. This is because if you right-click almost anything in windows, you'll get a menu of options or popular actions related to what you're clicking on. Steve decided that multiple button mouses might be confusing and ugly so the OS is designed around one, and most models do not have extra buttons. Far less context driven, and generally tries to hide the extra options and controls. Speaking of mice. Talk about form over function. Just about every apple mouse ever designed has been really terrible. From mouses where the whole top is one huge un-comfortable button, to hand-cramping little tiny pucks, most serious users go buy 3rd party mouses and then map the "command" button to another one. Even so, the command menus are much less prominent and capable than how windows is designed for efficiency.
Another example is the way that unlike nearly every other device on the planet that accepts CD media, there's no damn button to eject it. Dragging an icon to "the trash" is really counter-intuitive and much more work, yet steve made the decision and most macs don't allow you to easily do this. Not a deal breaker for most, and as I said, Microsoft is trying to copy them a bit too much. Like the way they hide the damn shut down button and options in win 8. Clunky, hard to find and use... Not intuitive to anyone with computer experience.
If you're going to work in the industry, get rid of the apple-fan-boi persona. It's one of the most annoying things we deal with when we come across the odd admin who prefers macs, they really can't shut up about how great their macs are, usually right before they install windows on dual-boot so they can actually use some business software. You can certainly prefer macs, just try not to be annoying, and be honest about the limitations and financial drawbacks of the system.
I agree that Apple mice leave a lot to be desired. That's one case where it's obvious they were trying to make the mouse look good and took it too far. In any case, the trackpad on my Air is great, and definitely better than any PC trackpad I've ever used. Scrolling is smooth with two-finger swiping and a two-finger click is my right click. I've never come across a PC trackpad that offers that kind of control, but perhaps that's an issue with Windows. I'm not sure.
Let me be clear—I don't unconditionally love everything about Apple. I like what they do. They make products that work well for my needs, and yeah, they tend to look nice. The adaptive toolbar at the top is indispensable and the ways in which I can navigate and control applications through simple commands are incredibly useful (Mission Control, anyone?). I think it's a great general purpose operating system. Does it hold up in a professional environment? Can't say, I'm not there yet.
Still, I'm trying to figure out what the limitations are. I personally don't find the command menus (right click) limiting, but I'm just a dude in college. I haven't come across any wildly technical scenarios in my experience yet, but surely soon. So I can't help but think that you're referring to things beyond my knowledge, but I'd appreciate more specifics, or a concrete example. I'll sit here and soak it up...