USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues

“Get a Mac! There. I hope all you Apple crazies are happy now and WILL STOP E-MAILING ME! Sheesh. Last week, I wrote about a virus giving a lobotomy to my Windows XP home computer. I got more e-mail about that column than any other, ever,” Kevin Many writes for USA Today. “The comments generally split into two camps:

– People who have Windows PCs and wanted to commiserate.
– Mac zealots who swarmed over my sad story like ants on a dropped Popsicle, all on a mission to ‘save’ this allegedly misguided Microsoft captive. Now I know what it would feel like to wander into a Branch Davidian convention. Or to be a Democrat trapped in a room with Zell Miller.

“Taken together, though, the two kinds of responses raise a point: This virus and security problem might be the biggest challenge to Microsoft in years,” Maney writes. “The message I get is that people are fed up with the vulnerability of Windows. They are increasingly willing to consider other options. And, for whatever reasons, Apple Computer’s Macintosh and Linux-based computers hardly get infected or invaded at all,” Maney writes. “Cultishness aside, though, people are switching because of the security issue. In Austin, computer consultant Brad Hudelson was once a high-level manager at Dell, the leading maker of Windows PCs. Hudelson says he ‘gave up after Sasser (virus attacks) last year and replaced all my machines with Apples and Mac OS X.'”

Maney writes, “Physician Thomas Essman switched for the same reason. So did Bryan Crawford, a biology professor at the University of Alberta in Canada. ‘I’ve been in computer heaven ever since,’ Crawford says. Here’s a particularly good one: Daryl Forrest is a developer of software for Windows. ‘I have moved all non-work-related computing to a new Apple Power Mac G5,’ he writes. ‘I like Windows XP, but the risks are too high these days. It’s sad that it has gotten to this.’ On and on it goes, one e-mail after another… Microsoft should be worried. It apparently has a lot of frustrated users out there.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Maney blows it a bit in the end by writing, “Microsoft hasn’t done anything particularly wrong; the hackers are the bad guys. Blaming Microsoft for not building in safety measures is a little like blaming Florida for being in the path of a hurricane.” Of course, anyone who’d think to substitute General Motors for Microsoft in this scenario can see that Microsoft most certainly should be accountable (imagine the lawsuits if GM-made cars were careening off roads whenever a mosquito hit the windshield). Still, dare we begin to believe that the light is suddenly finally shining upon the masses with stories like this now cropping up daily in mass media outlets?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
The Motley Fool: Windows viruses, Apple iPod’s ‘Halo Effect’ may drive switch from Windows to Mac OS X – September 21, 2004
Gartner VP: Windows is the biggest beta test the world has ever known – September 20, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
Review: Windows XP SP2 ‘remains leaky, profoundly unsafe on the internet’ – September 17, 2004
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg: ‘The single most effective way to avoid viruses and spyware is to simply chuck Windows altogether and buy an Apple Macintosh’ – September 16, 2004


  1. And, for whatever reasons, Apple Computer’s Macintosh and Linux-based computers hardly get infected or invaded at all.

    MDN didn’t point this out, but the “for whatever reasons” is something we all know about. WinDOS has more holes than a collander, but you know WinDOS supporters will keep bringing up the old security through obscurity myth, even though it’s been thoroughly debunked. And “hardly…at all”? As in NEVER?

  2. Oh and Ed: the Microsoft beholden press will report that Apple’s market share has declined to less than 1% ins spite of all the anti-Windows, pro-Mac press.

    As Disraeli said, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

  3. I think Maney would be surprised to see how quickly Switchers become “zealots” after using the Mac for a while. When I wrote him I suggested he try one out for a month or two.

  4. “Now I know what it would feel like to wander into a Branch Davidian convention. “

    How creative. The typical Mac marginalizing schtick. His parents must be proud he has a job a McPaper.

  5. Just for the record, I am not a “Zealot,” “ant,” or “on a mission.”
    I was just wrote to tell him about my experience. Why did he feel the need to put down people who use Mac’s?

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