I note you didn't specify the CPU in your comparison. And 13" doesn't mean "less" it means "more portable" - the components are often more expensive for being smaller. It's also why cheap 15" Pentium windows laptops weigh 7 lbs, are twice the thickness of higher-end machines and only cost $500. There are ways in which windows machines are better than macs. However, unless performance is already beyond your needs or portability is not a concern for you (and thus neither play into purchasing decisions), you are looking at poor comparators. edit: in addition, what $2000 13" macbook are you looking at? They don't seem to exist. The most expensive I see is the $1500 2.66ghz core 2 duo w/ 4GB ram, 320GB hd, nvidia 320m, and a battery that lasts between 6-8 hours in reality (claimed 10 hours). The cheapest is the $999 2.4 Ghz core 2 duo w/ 2GB ram, 250GB hd, nvidia 320m, and the same battery. The closest Dell I can find is the Studio 14, which has a smaller battery (55wthr vs 63.5wthr), a slightly higher-res screen (1366x768 vs 1280x800), is .5" wider, .5" deeper, .5" thicker (at the back), .75lbs heavier, a newer cpu but at a slower clockspeed (2.13 i3 vs 2.4GHZ core 2), a larger HD (500GB vs 320GB), comparable graphics (radeon m 5450 vs nvidia 320m), and it costs $933.99. You've saved $66 & have more HD space, but are carrying around an extra 3/4ths of a pound and are missing a hour or more of battery life. Three points: 1) I like Visual Studio. It is a very good dev system. 2) Visual Studio wasn't free for a very long time. Even now, VS Pro is $800, while VS Ultimate w/ MSDN renewal is $3,800! 3) VS Express went free for two reasons: the xbox marketplace and the need for a more open dev area for indie teams, OSX's free Xcode environment pulling poor independent coders away from Windows.