For those Boston Globe readers thinking about switching to Macintosh from Windows in order to free themselves from viruses and worms, Hiawatha Bray offers the following:

“In the past two weeks, an unholy trinity of ‘malware’ — techspeak for malicious computer programs — ran riot on public and private data networks. Two of the three, Blaster and Welchia, took advantage of a known security flaw in Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating systems, used by more than 90 percent of desktop computers worldwide. The third, SoBig.F, used the notoriously unsecured Internet e-mail system to relay billions of falsely addressed messages bearing copies of itself. But like Blaster and Welchia, SoBig only infects Windows computers. Some experts draw a simple lesson from these events: If you want secure computing, board up your Windows,” writes Bray.

“‘The first and most effective measure you can take to secure your computers is to immediately remove all your Microsoft products and never install them again,'” said Eric Raymond, author of ‘The Art of Unix Programming,'” Bray reports.

Bray continues, “Jeff Jones, senior director of trustworthy computing security at Microsoft Corp., senior director of trustworthy computing security at Microsoft Corp. dismissed claims that rival software is more secure. ‘I think they have as much or more vulnerabilities in the code as any other software,’ Jones said.”

“Besides, switching to other operating systems isn’t easy. Linux will run on the same hardware as Windows, but many users still find it difficult to use. They’d need weeks of training and stacks of manuals to study. The Apple Mac OS only runs on Apple hardware. Users would have to buy entirely new equipment. And despite the Mac’s reputation for ease of use, the transition would still involve a lot of work. Cem Kaner, an attorney and professor of software engineering at Florida Institute of Technology, just made the transition and hated every minute of it. ‘The hassle associated with transferring 6 gigs of e-mail from Windows to the Mac was enormous,’ Kaner said,” Bray writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Transferring 6 gigs of email from a Windows machine to a Mac in not an enormous task. Kaner could’ve saved much “hassle” simply by visiting the local Apple Retail Store or checking this simple webpage. And to quote the “senior director of trustworthy computing security at Microsoft Corp.” (a misnomer if ever there was one) dismissing claims that rival software is more secure, without any proof or research, is simply ridiculous. This article does a disservice to its many Windows-using readers who might have had a chance at a better way of computing before they read this piece of tripe. Nobody in their right mind would want to “buy entirely new equipment” in order to go through an “enormous hassle,” now would they? Anyone thinking of switching to a Mac who reads this Bray piece will instantly be safely back in the center of the Windows Reservation. Mission accomplished, Hiawatha. Another fine example of the decline of U.S. “journalism” and why Apple has such trouble increasing market share.

Bray’s email address is: bray@globe.com
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