As the question says, this is what I was asked today. Since I do not plan to buy ANY Mac any time soon, maybe somebody that is/was using a Mac OSX would be kind to answer. How does the Application Menu (Also known as Global Menu by some) differ (Or be the same) from an End user perspective.
Ubuntu's Global Menu Hides.
OSX's Application Menu does not hide.
Ubuntu's Title-bar integrates on Maximization and close/max/min buttons move to top left corner.
In OSX the title bar does not integrate.
- Ubuntu has the "Dash" to search
OSX has "Spotlight" to search
- Ubuntu Has the System settings and Shutdown on the right
OSX has it on the left
As a side note here is a nice article about the design decision to first include the global menu http://design.canonical.com/2010/05/menu-bar/
Excerpt about why certain things are similar to OSX:
Our goal is not to make Ubuntu imitate any other OS; our goal is to make it better than any other OS. As we continue to improve Ubuntu, it will become more like Windows in some respects, and less in others. More like Mac OS X in some ways, less in others. More innovative in some ways, and less in others. We’ll try always to do something not just because others do it, and not just because others don’t do it, but because it’s a good idea.
On Mac OS X, the menu stays on top, all the time. Even when you don't maximize. (Actually, there is no maximizing in OS X. There is this "full screen mode", only pretty recently, but it hides the menu.)
Also, I am not sure how it is in Ubuntu, but in OS X, Java applications usually share the menu. I just ran NetBeans in Ubuntu and it didn't share the Unity menu for some reason.
Also, in OS X, you have an apple menu on the top left which works similarly like the menu at the top right in Ubuntu (About Mac, turn off, and so on), and the name of the application is part of the menu (under the name of the application, you usually have things like per-installation settings, "about", and so on).