Something struck me the other day that I think most power-users with experience on both Windows and OS X would agree with. Windows gets better as you tweak the hell out of it. Power-users on that OS invariably add this skin, this mod, that hack, etc.
On OS X, however, following that same paradigm does little more than create a kludgy feel to the system. It’s as if an equilibrium exists with the OS, and trying to make “improvements” somehow disturbs that balance. The bonsai tree comes to mind, as does the word shibumi — both focusing on minimalization and simplicity.
It’s not that I think OS X is perfect — it’s quite not; it’s just that it feels more like a complete environment than Windows does. Windows feels like a rickety, modular contraption that needs to be patched up, have holes filled, and functionality added. OS X feels more like a self-contained product…it’s hard to describe.
I do still add a couple of things to my OS installs (LaunchBar for one), but it’s nothing like what I do to a Windows box when I first get a hold of it. With the latter, there’s like a whole list of tools and mods that needs to go on the box before it’s even considered usable. That’s not the case with OS X, and it’s worth noting.