I discovered this thread sort of lateish, but it's not that far down, so what the hell. Longish reply incoming.
One great thing about Mac development is that the tools are free. If you want Microsoft's development tools (which are, admittedly, excellent) you have to pay an arm and a leg unless you can get a major student discount on it, pirate it, or win it (which I was 1337 enough to do
). I never really got much into Linux development because the best code editors I could find were emacs and jed (the IDEs I've used weren't that great IMO).
As far as which system I prefer, I definitely prefer Mac OS X over anything else, and I'm still only using v10.1! I actually enjoy using this operating system, which isn't something I can really say about Windows (I just went through a ton of Windows-related headaches on my x86 system) or Linux (improving, but still too chaotic for me to stand).
As far as security goes, I tend to feel the best on an OS X system. While I'm practically the God of my system when I run Windows, OS X is a bit more limiting. Users are not root, which adds a great deal to security. To actually install software that modifies the system library the user needs to type in their password which the installer uses to essentially performs a "sudo" (as far as I can tell, anyway) for temporary root privileges. If the user doesn't know why the password prompt is coming up, he/she will cancel it if they have any common sense. Windows, on the other hand, would just install the thing.
OS X is also doing nothing but improving with every release. Windows just tends to look different (and arguably get more Mac OS-like) with every release (except for 2000, which is actually a good version of Windows). While the $129 per-release price tag for OS X seems a little steep, you're paying for a full installation of an operating system where the company actually trusts the users. My OEM copy of OS X 10.1 doesn't so much as require a CD key (not sure about OS X Server). My OEM copy of Windows XP Home not only requires a CD key (which is stuck to the bottom of my laptop) but also requires you to activate it. Pirated until proven legit? Fuck that.
(Edited by Spectere at 3:37 am on Mar. 19, 2004)