Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:04 PM
I cannot help too much with the programming side of things. I would expect for the most post thing will be very similar. There are bound to be "Mac specific" and "Windows specific" sides to programming since they are different OSs using different "innards" and APIs, but most of the basic stuff should be the same. I will note that if you still wanted to program specifically for Windows, you should be able to do that on a Mac using Windows in Bootcamp or maybe even running Windows in a VM using Parallels or VMWare Fusion.
As to which to pick, that will kind of depend on what you are after.
There is really not a ton of different between a rMBP and a MBA when you talk about 13" or smaller screen size. The primary difference between a 13" rMBP and a 13" MBA is the screen resolution (the rMBP will have the "retina" screen), the processor (the rMBP will have a more powerful processor, but not a huge amount), maximum RAM (the rMBP can be ordered with 16 GB, while the max of the MBA is 8 GB…note that you CANNOT upgrade the RAM yourself on either…what you get when you buy it is what you are stuck with), number/type of ports (the rMBP will have one more Thunderbolt port and an HDMI port beyond what the 13" MBA has), and the size/weight (this is the one "thing" that the MBA "wins"…it is lighter and thinner).
So, if you are looking at a 13" screen, then to me the decision comes down to how portable do you want it.
There is still "traditional" 13" MBP that Apple sells. The only real advantage this model has is that you can get more storage space for less money since it uses a "traditional" spinning, mechanical hard drive…and it still has an internal optical drive (as well as Firewire port and ethernet port).
The biggest reason to consider a 15" rMBP (beyond just having a bigger screen) is that it is only Mac laptop that offer "discrete" graphics. All the 13" or smaller screen Mac laptops use some form of integrated Intel graphics. So, if you want to do graphics intensive things, then you will need to get a 15" and it will have to be the $2600 model, unfortunately.
So, at the end of the day, it will really come down which things you "need"/want.