Everyone who is anyone, even my grandparents, know about the ongoing war for market share by both the Mac and PC platforms; they may not know why it matters, but they know there is some sort of holy war going on.
I don’t believe in it. Mac may be better if you’re a designer or a Rails developer. It is really up to the user and the purpose. A PC may be better for C++ application development or gaming. It’s not really up to a marketing push to decide which is actually better.
The one thing that Apple does have that no PC manufacturer has is absolute control over the hardware that functions with their operating system. It’s much, much simpler to maintain an Operating System that is meant to only work on a small pool of Apple designed hardware.
Through doing this I’m sure it has helped Apple win over users who had given up on PCs due to the BSOD because of hardware or software failures.
In the age of virtualization technologies it is becoming even easier for Apple to gain share among more technical users simply because of applications like bootcamp, wine, and vmware. A new Mac user can run basically any application they need to in a virtual machine, or even a transparent bottle so it appears that an application built for Windows or Linux will appear to operate natively on OSX.
The PC is still the leader simply because of the cost to consumers. You can pick up a low end PC for less than $300 at your local big-box megalomart. Customers have to make the conscious decision to switch to Apple and the rise in iPod and iPhone owners has created a huge customer base from which users will continually be slammed by the Apple brand, creating awareness of their full range of products and eventually drawing some of them headlong into the Apple fanboy hall of fame.
In the end, it’s just a computer no matter which side of the argument you’re on.