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Your personal accusation of disingenuousness distracts from what would otherwise have been a good point. Let's see what a barebones setup costs for developing with a solid IDE on each platform:


$800 Mac Mini (Apple's most affordable offering that runs macOS)

$90 Acer SB220Q Monitor

$FREE Xcode

Total: $890


$200 Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (Most affordable Dell PC I could find being sold new)

$1200 One time payment for Visual Studio (but you don't get updates)

Total: $1400

So if have to both buy a computer and need a full featured IDE then Visual Studio's license wipes out any savings you get from avoiding the "Apple tax". It gets even worse if you want perpetual updates to Visual Studio which cost $800/year but come free with XCode.

This is counter to what I had expected beforehand myself, I expected the "Apple tax" to make the bar of entry much higher than PC development.

If, on the other hand, you can get by with a less advanced IDE or are developing in a non-proprietary language like Java, Python, or Scala the cost goes way down:

Cheapskate Option:

$200 Windows/Linux laptop

$FREE Eclipse/JetBrains CE IDE/Visual Studio Code

Total: $200

This is certainly more affordable than the $800 macOS alternative. Although one could debate whether the above mentioned IDEs are on equal footing with XCode/Visual Studio.

Visual Studio Community is free. It doesn't have the fancy cloud/devops enterprise-y stuff, but it's not like Xcode does either.

Ah! I didn't know Visual Studio Community was even a thing. Figures though, since I've never used either.

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