Mac OS has been like this since System 1. And it makes sense; whatever you're doing, its menu is going to be in the same place. Fitts' law indicates that the most quickly accessed targets on any computer display are the four corners of the screen.
Mac OS has supported multiple mouse buttons for at least 16 years. Even when using a now-extinct one button mouse, control-click presented a dialogue box.
Left window controls (yay for all the left handed and left eye dominant people, boo for the other 95% of the world)
Because it's easier to move a mouse up/left with your right hand, and was developed in a country that reads left-to-right.
Launchpad (how is the start menu missing causing a revolt and launchpad even exist? Launchpad is the initial SIN!)
The start menu missing is causing a revolt because Microsoft removed something and replaced it with an abomination. Launchpad - and other questionable features like Dashboard - can be completely ignored.
Finder layout straight out of system commander circa 1988.
Column view in Finder is optional, with icon and list view still available. Also, Finder has had its sorting options greatly improved throughout OS X's history.
Crap loads of docked icons you never use be default.
If you go and buy a Mac today, this is in the Dock:
- Finder: File management
- Launchpad: Access to all apps not in the Dock (And easily ignored, as previously discussed)
- Safari: A web browser
- Mail: Email client
- Contacts: An address book
- Calendar: A calendar
- Notes: Short notes
- Maps: A map of the entire planet
- Messages: Text messaging and IM
- FaceTime: Video chat
- Photo Booth: Something fun to play with on your new computer
- iPhoto: Something to talk to your camera
- Pages: Word processing
- Numbers: Spreadsheets
- Keynote: Presentations
- iTunes: Play and purchase music and TV/movies
- iBooks: Read and purchase books
- App Store: Install and purchase software
- System Preferences: Change settings on your computer
The default Dock icons cover managing your computer, using the big two features of the Internet, syncing 'organisational' information with your phone, finding locations, messaging and video chatting with other people, photography, writing, processing numbers, creating presentations, watching media, reading, and installing an app to do anything else you want your computer to do. The default Dock is a slam-dunk for covering what the majority of people use computers for, points users in the right direction to add new capabilities to the computer, and is easily customised to remove the things you don't want. (Launchpad, again...)
The Dock is setup perfectly for you to get started with your computer. Anything else you need to get to can either be accessed through Spotlight (power users) or Launchpad (for people with more experience with iOS).
A separate contact and calendar app....
Just like iOS... but also NeXTSTEP; they have always been separate apps, which makes finding what are ultimately different tasks easier *and* they also seamlessly share the same databases behind the scenes.
Integration with touchpads is great. Removing always-visible scrollbars removes needless clutter. Things like Launchpad - and pretty much anything else you don't like that reminds you of iOS - are easily disabled or ignored.
Hardwired application dependency locations (the whole point of application folders is to stop that!)
Wait, what? Apps install into /Applications by default, but the system works just fine with app in ~/Applications. Beyond that, moving apps around is making things needlessly complicated for yourself. Even then, the vast majority of apps are self-contained bundles and can be run from anywhere.
Scroll bars that disappear even if your mouse is near them and appear at the bottoms of pages OVERTOP content.
Touched on this in iOS; the scroll bars appear when moving the cursor or scrolling content. If you find this to be an issue, it can be disabled in System Preferences. Yes, Apple provided sensible options!
I could go on and complain about the apps, but lets say OSX is great for people who use a computer like they use iOS and leave it at that....
It's a mature system with 13 years of refinement, and is built for use on 'real' computers. iOS features have only gone "back to the Mac" since 10.7, and even then - as previously discussed - are all avoidable if found that unpalatable. OS X is also bundled with apps that over most use cases for a personal computer, and installing developer tools is simply a matter of typing 'Xcode' into the App Store.
OS X is the current gold standard in desktop operating systems. It's incredibly well thought out, and that's why Canonical, GNOME, and others keep looking to it for guidance. However, it was foolish for Ubuntu to unexpectedly drop application menus for global menus after nine years without presenting an option to switch back. And that's the difference between OS X and Ubuntu; Apple wouldn't make such a ridiculous and far-reaching change to the system without either an option to disable it or an incredibly good rationalisation.