Re: The Apple route @the-it-slayer
You are mistaken. Proof me wrong if you can.
First of all, Service Packs do bring "any NEW features" besides being just a bundle of security updates and. Support for USB2, IPv6, Bluetooth, WPA have come with XP Service Packs. Know the difference indeed...
Regarding App Store:
Apple and Linux distro's in general are miles better with the central repo thing, there's no denying in that. But if you are stating that software for Mac is generally cheaper than the same software for Windows, PLEASE show some proof that shows that to be true.
Also, if I want stable apps, I should not use App Store? :-)
Apple has left the door wide open to Safari attacks on OS X 10.6 and older. Safari 5 has multiple open vulnerabilities, and Safari 6 is limited to OS X 10.7 & .8
Your take on XP support cycle is inane. You are comparing a consumer grade OS with a professional OS.
Apple doesn't specify their support policies for OS X anywhere. It is just "given" that the latest-1 OS is supported. The older versions, well - Apple couldn't care less.
You are free to compare this to Microsoft's support cycles. XP gets 12+ years of support (up from original due to the Vista mistake) but you make this sound like something unheard of in computing. Windows 2000 had 10 years of support, Windows 7 support ends in 2020, even Windows 3.1 support lasted 9 years and that was released 2 decades ago. The same 10 year support cycle includes Office products as well.