Linux vs. Macintosh
Both of them trace their ancestry from Unix. That explains the robustness vis a vis Windows, which remains downright crappy and buggy operating system. The similarity ends there.
Linux does not boast of the top of the line corporation promoting it- yet for millions of users, it means freedom of choice. I believe it is this freedom of choice that initially attracted me to it. Perhaps the fact that I could easily run Linux on my old AMD Athlon without any costly upgrade. Or high initial cost of the hardware. Giving me essentially the same peace of mind that Apple users claim.
Linux gives the users a vast choice. The newer versions of Linux are truly plug and play compatible.
To back up Linux users, there are host of newbie websites, IRC channels, forums et al where in someone would be there to solve your problem.
The fact is that Linux is the perfect answer to proprietary software like Apple. I strongly believe that Linux has shown us a path to achieve that goal of bridging the digital divide. Apple could learn a few things from this.