Perhaps it helps not to be brand loyal. One has to follow whatever serves your needs best and not criticise those who follow different routes.
Windows Vista came in for much criticism, yet my own Dell Vostro with only 1GB RAM and a Celeron CPU performed well, with only the occasional crash. Maybe I was just lucky.
Windows 7 64-bit had serious hardware compatibility issues and so I installed Linux instead, on an IBM Thinkpad T61P that I had bought second-hand for a song.
Windows 8 served me well and its stability (relative to other Windows versions) really did impress even though going Metro was not bright. It claimed second best place after Linux, as Linux (Mint) outperformed it by a wide margin. I installed Linux Mint because I was tired of having the dogs at the gate to keep intruders out or sleeping with eyes wide open because anyone could jump the firewall.
Apple had a lovely OS and was well put together, but then I installed updates and the trouble began. Lost wireless networking, location services suffered, then local sync was taken away, the iPhone 5's power button broke and it took Apple well over a month to try fix and finally replace it, iCloud corrupted notes/contacts/calendar data and so the list goes on. A prime product marred by sloppy updates, mostly happening after Steve Jobs had died. Here is an example of how updates work nicely in Apple. At the price, is this a good deal, then?http://www.zdnet.com/when-yosemite-went ... 000036309/
Linux Mint 17.1 is a very useful OS that comes loaded with all software solutions the majority of users will ever need. Of course, no OS is perfect. No OS can ever satisfy all, either.
Pricing is an issue and one would expect from Apple to be as relatively trouble free as Linux Mint is. Mostly, in my experience over the past 8+ years with it, everything generally just works and I never even needed to install hardware drivers. This was true for various distro's and a variety of versions of each, as installed on a number of different computers. When the free Linux works better than the premium-priced Mac OS X, one has to decide which will be right for you.
One has to look at these things objectively and seeing the bigger picture always helps.
The USA with its 300 million citizens have a much denser internet saturation than, for instance, the entire African continent with its 1.02 billion people spread across an area more than three times the size of the USA, fragmented into 54 countries totally independent from each other politically. Less than 18% have internet access.
Now consider this: Microsoft, submitting to US security agencies, were instructed to force users through the cloud. Office 365 is fast replacing standalone MSO. Those with fast broadband have no objection. More than six out of every seven global computer users do not have broadband and more than for of every seven have NO internet access. This is where Microsoft and its cloud'only approach, same as Apple, become irrelevant to those majorities.
Arguing between Linux vs Mac vs Windows becomes futile when the broadband internet prerequisite remains evasive and non-existent in most areas.
Standalone Linux works well in these environments and so do pirate Windows installations. The latter is rife in African-, Asian- and South American countries.
Consider total cost of ownership and you will see that Linux Mint or any other user-friendly distro really makes more sense to the bulk of the global population. When Windows became the global dominator, it was so only because there were, at the time, no real alternatives.
This is changing fast and users now have the wealth of choice. As Linux is the only OS that really offers future-proof solutions to all users and uses and markets, it could become the logical choice. Bear in mind, though, the tremendous Android footprint that ever-increases. Even that is Linux! Tablets & phablets are replacing a share of the desktop market but I do not see a total demise of the "real computer" for another decade or two.
It is good to have alternatives, just as it is good to be educated and informed, so as to choose the right swords for the battle. Any solution that works as well in either connected or unconnected environments will have the dollar vote of the users that need it.
Perhaps by 2035, when the entire globe has real freely available (coverage), reliable and either cheap or free broadband, less people will need standalone products. Until then, cloud-only technology aimed at 300 million users may be irrelevant to most of the other 6.3 billion.
Linux Mint 17.1 offers similar or sometimes even superior features and benefits to Mac and Windows, at an effective 100% discount on both OS and software applications. In a global economy that really finds itself not in recession but more in a depression (if you know how to evaluate statistics) it makes sense to participate economically at the least cost possible. In developing countries, Windows alone can easily cost up to 80% of the cost of the hardware it rides upon. Add the exorbitant cost of application software and the costs sky-rocket. MSO 2013 Professional and Windows 8.1 Professional multi-language can easily cost almost US$1k here. Apple costs 55% more than in the US in our market, even more in some other countries.
How much did you pay for Mint + apps?
Linux Mint 17.1 makes sense to those who are informed and thinking soberly.