I use both Windows 7 and OSX on a regular basis.
Is Windows 8 Too Dumb?
I have had very limited experience with Windows 8, so I won’t use it in my comparison. For what it’s worth, Windows 8 made me feel real dumb. When asked to configure my email, I was hit with a giant full screen prompt with no discernible way of closing it. Alt+F4 didn’t close it; Escape didn´t either.
The Windows key didn’t bring me back to the Start screen: it just did nothing. I was later told that I was supposed to click on the top margin and “drag the window away” in order to close it, but how in the hell was I suppose to imagine that the white space was draggable? I don’t mind Metro aesthetically. The bright colors can be jarring at times, but overall it looks modern and uncluttered. But the UX is just horrible if I, a true power user by any standard, was unable to close a damn email setup prompt from the stock Mail app.
Back on topic now. You’ve posted a question that reads “Why is OSX better than Windows”; this is called confirmation bias. I wouldn’t assert that one is better than the other, and I don’t feel it’s a fair question but I will try to offer my opinion as to OSX’s strengths and weaknesses.
Mac OS X Hardware Experience
The first and maybe most important factor is the quality of Apple hardware. A Retina Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air are outstanding products regardless of the Operating System you prefer. They look fantastic, they are built solid, and are a joy to use. Many PC manufacturers fumble by giving you a flimsy hinge, a poor keyboard, a low-quality screen (it’s more than just resolution), and/or a crappy trackpad. Very few products outside Apple offer you all of this. It’s not rocket science: it’s not about a custom, overclocked CPU or anything like that. Simple things like a comfortable, backlit keyboard and a responsive, smooth trackpad make the product infinitely more usable. Razor seems to be on the right track with its Blade line, and I know there must be other boutique manufacturers out there putting up quality hardware, but it seems hard to find. Most vendors seem to believe good hardware can be summarized into a spec sheet, failing to realize it’s a product you need to hold and manually interact with; it needs to be comfortable. Macbooks excel at this, and it’s a huge starting point.
OSX takes this fantastic hardware and provides a nice out of the box experience. Even after paying a hefty premium, an HP or Dell laptop of the very highest end will still greet you with a load of crapware. A custom OEM “utilities” overlay for frequently used settings, an antivirus trial, an Office trial, a CD/DVD burning suite trial, and some sort of crazy animation to splash over the screen when you change the volume or brightness. It bogs your system down, fills it with crap on the taskbar, and is just a horrible pain. I am unable (unwilling, to be fair) to use a PC before formatting and going for a clean install. OSX saves me that hassle.
Not only is an OSX install clean, but the apps that it does include are top-notch. The iLife suite is due for an update soon, but even at their current state they are true examples of what stock utilities should be. iPhoto and iMovie are amazing apps in their own right. I am sure if these apps were available for purchase on Windows, a lot of people would pay up for them – they’re really that good. iDVD and the iWeb (was that its name?) have sort of lingered as obsolete tag-alongs, but that has more to do with people’s usage changing than with a fault in the apps themselves.