I have been following and using Apple computers now since around 2000. I was intrigued by Mac OS X and being an OS freak, especially *NIX based OS platforms, I had to have one so I could play with Mac OS X. Once I got on a Mac and started playing around with Cocoa/Objective-C, I really did not want to go back to a PC. This is a Windows world of course and being a developer, Windows development is what paid the bills. Apple/Jobs has always been set in their ways, with no chance of change in sight. The unbelievable happen though and something seriously changed...
Since 2000, we have seen Apple release there best version of Mac OS X yet (Panther) and there about to do it again next month with Tiger. Each time they are ahead of there competitors as far as technology and innovation. They released the iPod for Mac and Windows, which is now hitting a target estimate of 5.5 million total sold in Q1 of 2005, 1.5 Million of which are the new iPod shuffle. They also relased the new PowerMac G5's which have been very popular with goverment and educational facilities. An Apple based super computer made it in the top 5 of the Super Computer list for a fracion of the cost compared to the others in the list. Then they release a sub $500 dollar Mac (Mac mini) at Macworld 2005, which is estimated to have sold around 150,000 units in Q1 of 2005.
Apple has always been known to have secret projects in the works. There are "rumors" that there definitely is a Mac OS X version for x86 based machines. Apple is also working on small form factor computers; palm top sized as described by some. This would go well with there InkWell technology. Apple has also had plans for a movie store following the theme of the iTunes store. The industry is shaping up to where many of the things Apple is working on makes a perfect fit. I definitely see the Mac mini being a target for the living room and many other things.
What's next? Apple is expected to make many big announcements this year, which includes the release of a dual processor dual core G5 PowerMac, PowerBook G5, and *gasp* a two button mouse. It seems Apple has learned some valuable lessons in how to sell and work in a Microsoft world.
Now with Mono getting more mature everyday for Mac OS X, you will be able to add the large base of .NET developers to the Cocoa developers Apple already has, this will be huge. It is hard for me to imagine Apple not getting market share gains this year. The iPod halo effect is kicking in and it's just beginning.
I have been developing on DOS/Wintel with a mix of *NIX for 10 years now and I defintely welcome the fresh change of environment the Mac provides. I still use all the other major operating systems such as Windows and Linux. because like I said I love technology and operating systems. I will always play with the new toys out there, but my primary OS and hardware of choice comes from the company at 1 Infinite Loop ;)