I remember I had joined the Air Force and spent my first paycheck or 2 on a 286 pack bell. The decision came in 1991 when I went to the software shelves and looked at the software available. At the time there was 10 times as many packages for the Microsoft machine over the Mac. The number of packages was intriguing because there were software compilers being sold for the 286 machines as well. I wasn't rich, being enlisted, but I was paid enough to save for my joy: computers.
During those years I learned c++ (having learned C on my own in College). And learned a lot about how much time it took to build software. I already had learned Basic in high school, and assembly on my own as well. Creating drivers was challenging for the 286 graphics cards at the time.
So 20 years later, its like things never really changed that much between Apple and Microsoft. Now Linux is also available for software makers. Most of the really good software is written for both platforms now, but it's still just as difficult as ever to write the stuff. Microsoft will again overtake Apple, simply because of their relationship with developers being really friendly. I have yet to experience that kind of Comradery with the Apple developers, or Apple for that matter.
Microsoft has always had a great product with Sql Server, and it has only improved tremendously over time. Sql server 2012 is truly the best product I have experienced when it comes to database versatility. (back to the topic).
Writing software with MS Visual Studio is a lot easier these days when dealing with database systems. Entity Framework for instance, and MVC Code First. Apple doesn’t have these features yet in their software IDE systems. They have Mono which is a bastardize set of .net v2. The asynchronous technology with .net 4.5 makes doing things asynchronously a lot easier and faster for developers.
So again Apple products are a lot more expensive than the Microsoft brand. From computers to phones to tablets what have you. The Microsoft products are planned to be more: just more, and that presents a really interesting future for software. Collaboration is inherently better in the Microsoft space, and the apple guru’s have a lot of catching up. But because of the community, and how software is just a lot damn easier to write in Visual Studio than any apple product offering, again the Microsofties will prevail and again jump ahead to pass apple. Eventually apple will have to catch up, because as of now it seems they are really going to be behind the ball when the new offerings become available later this year.