recent viruses and lost opportunities

| 10 Comments

Why, oh why, doesn't Apple take advantage of all the current virus traffic to run ads that point out that Mac users don't get these viruses ??? It seems so obvious.

We were watching NBC news last night, and they were explaining the SOBIG virus and how it works. Not once did they mention that it only affects computers running Windows. (When I remarked about this, Gerald gently reminded me of the MS-NBC relationship. Duh.)

Even on campus, none of the dire warnings about having your computer carefully checked by the tech folks before connecting it to the network mention that Mac and Linux users aren't affected.

What an (unseized) opportunity for Apple to push OS X. How much lost time (which equals money) goes into (a) installing security patches on MS systems and (b) cleaning up the mess that viruses make when they get past the patches? One would think that would factor into purchasing decisions up front.

10 Comments

Well, now. I guess that 4 % of the population (thereabouts) are Apple users, and their collective voice really doesn't count much!! LOL!

And my dear sweet husband just pointed out that the very first virus ever written was on a Mac. So wow, I guess we PC users DO have a lot to be thankful for, with respect to Apple users. Clearly you folk ARE rotton to the core! (*gentle grin*)

while i don't watch enough news on tv to comment much, getting news elsewhere, i'd point out that msnbc exists and there is significant partnerships and powerflows that might explain why certain representations do not seem to be preferred.

I think that the reason Apple doesn't do this is because it *is* possible to get email viruses and worms on an Apple system. It's just that so far most of the virus/worm writers have targeted MS products. I've thought about saying something like that about Pine on my Pine pages and then I realized that the moment a Pine virus surfaces, someone is going to sue Infinite Ink for misrepresenting Pine.

Speaking both as someone who has spent almost the entire last month dealing with the fallout of supporting folks through this set of windows security disasters at a large university, and as a longtime windows user who has been recently become an os x afficionado, my guess is that Apple doesn't want to go too far out on a limb here.

While it is certainly true that Microsoft has been dreadfully negligent of taking security seriously for many years (despite their public-relations pronouncements to the contrary - see my blog writings on this topic at http://staff.washington.edu/oren/weblog/ ), the fact is that these kinds of problems are not necessarily limited to Windows computers only.

All computer owners are going to have to learn to take their own security seriously enough to run firewalls on their machines, update operating systems and other software frequently, and to develop digital "street smarts" about what to open and what not to - sigh - what a world we've created.

And Nancy - as a veteran Pine user (works great on os x) - it won't stop you from opening that malicious attachment either!

It would be tempting fate for Apple to say that; someone would write a mac-specific virus just for the hell of it.
Us Mac users are not free from collateral damage either - I just deleted 1700 bounces from random addresses notionally @ one of my domains.
Apple up-selling virus protection software as part of .mac is pretty silly though.

The bottom line is that there are just not a LOT of Apple users. If someone wants to BE malicious, and get attention, who are they gonna target: 96% of the computer users, or the 4% that use Apple. Kind of a no-brainer.

So I guess if Apple suddenly got a lot of market share, I should switch to some platform that has an even smaller market share so I still don't have to deal with viruses.

Hmmmm. Linux? Unix? SunOS? Lindows? (Yes, I know the first 3 are fairly similar.)

Ted, watch which platform you jump to. Last month there was a flurry of news articles about predictions that Linux would pass Macs on the desktop next year.

In our chaotic little office we've gone from 5PCs/3Macs to 3PCs/2Mac/3Linux during this last summer.

Personally, I feel like I can give up on PCs now, and use Linux full time. Some stuff about Linux is hard to get used to at first, but then you get it. We're running Red Hat 9.

This story sums it up rather well: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34978-2003Aug23_2.html . Basically it says that there are inherent weaknessess in the way Windows XP is set up in the Home edition, and that it would be fairly easy for Microsoft to change the default settings. Given the way that MS has acted in the past, Apple and various Linux vendors have the opportunity to win over disgruntled Windows users. Especially when they are attacked (as they inevitably will be) by far more dangerous virii and worms in the months and years to come.

 

Categories

Archives

Recent Photos

www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from mamamusings. Make your own badge here.

Upcoming Travel

Creative Commons License
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on August 22, 2003 6:41 PM.

mt courseware documentation and templates was the previous entry in this blog.

our kids have other plans is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.