Windows users’ security woes spark interest in Apple’s secure Mac OS X

“What started as fear and later into rage, is now turning into revenue for Apple Computer. Of course, I’m referring to the increased number of viruses, spyware and other computer attacks that all seem to be directed to the popular Windows operating system,” Matt Krantz writes for USA Today. “A growing number of computer users, fed up with the attacks on Windows computers, have been buying or at least taking a look at buying Macintosh computers from Apple Computer.

Krantz writes, “Certainly, in the short-term, this is very good news for Apple. Consumers that previously wouldn’t have even given Apple a thought are giving it serious consideration. The impressive new iMac is also certain to wow consumers and win over more former Windows users. And don’t forget the iPod. The successful digital music player from Apple is getting more college students to consider buying a matching Apple PC, instead of a Windows machine. Part of this may explain why Apple shares were up a staggering 74% as of late September, compared to the 5.8% decline of the Nasdaq composite index.”

Krantz flirts with the “security through obscurity” myth, but we’re giving him a pass for attempting to make some sense of it in his piece. We just have too much proof (see Related MacDailyNews articles below) that Mac OS X is simply inherently more secure than Windows for fundamental reasons as The New York Times, among others, has explained in-depth. More info here.

Krantz concludes, “So will Apple get an advantage in the short term due to Windows’ security issues? Probably. But whether or not that edge will last, and become a driver to Apple’s stock, really depends on how the companies in the Windows community react to this latest, and perhaps greatest, threat in its existence.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
BusinessWeek’s Haddad gets it wrong; thinks low market share spares Macs from viruses – August 28, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
SmartMoney: Long-suffering Windows users can only dare to dream of Mac’s ease-of-use – February 12, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004
USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware – September 15, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows XP’ – September 23, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes – September 27, 2004
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Windows desktop monopoly threatened by secure, safe Apple Mac OS X – October 04, 2004


  1. You know, there are other good things about Apple and MacOSX too. It’s not just security where it’s better, try general usability, not having your system get in the way of what you’re doing, and so on….

    I know it’s all good for the brand, but I’m getting a little over reading only about the security advantages: they were only a small reason for my switch….

  2. I really want someone to create a virus or worm for Mac OS X. I feel left out of the excitement that all the Windows users fear daily. :p

    No, seriously, Jeroen is bang on with his comments about general usability. There is a serious ignorance among non-Mac users about just how much more productive one can be on a Mac. I don’t have the perspective of someone looking at the platform from afar, since I’ve been using Macs for 15 years, but when I’m facing with having to use a Windows machine for work, I get seriously depressed. Simple things like having to reinstall QuickTime just so FireFox can register its plugin are among the annoyances I face.

    If it takes people getting fed up with Windows to try out a Mac…. then so be it. But once they do, they’ll suddenly realize just what they’ve been missing, and never look back.

  3. “…I really want someone to create a virus or worm for Mac OS X. I feel left out of the excitement that all the Windows users fear daily….”

    Well, Ted….. there was the trojan mentioned here .. but as it turned out… it was “much ado about nothing”…

    Be careful what you wish for, tho

  4. we have already seen one reaction from the empire to Apple’s rise. Monkey Boy called ALL iPod users thieves. When the CEO of a MAJOR company makes such a HUGE error in judgement, and makes it publicly, that says one thing loud and clear…

    Microsoft is scared. They have never before experienced a threat like this. The shark is cicling in the water, and it smells BLOOD!

  5. Windows “popular”? Market-dominating, yes, but popular? I still have to come across a person who proudly displays a Microsoft logo on his/her car.
    That’s like saying dentists are popular because people visit them regularly.

  6. Hallo Harry, klopt! M’n ISP is een vriend en zijn link is niet al te snel. nog niet genoeg klanten… Geeft niets op’t moment, in een paar maand dan zal hij daar iets aan moeten doen! Mijn Nederlands is niet zo goed meer (19 jaar in Australie).

    mac dood: The news is spreading fast, my family will not eb buying anything else now, and a friend has “smoothly added a PB12 to his computing arsenal!” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> Wanted to do it for a long time but was unable to give up Counter-Strike (sad, I know).



  7. Happy like when I had Amigas, and that’s been a while! I do cop a lot of “crap” from many (but not most or all) Windows users: everyone is at least interested.

  8. With Tiger coming out next year things will only get better for Apple while Microsofts shorthorn seems to be getting shorter every passing day.

    Balmer’s out burst seems to prove that the heat is on in Redmond.

  9. My e-mail

    As you stated in your Answer, “The current crop of bad-guy hackers loves a challenge, but they tend to love results more.”

    Think about this, can you imagine the resulting media storm if a “bad-guy hacker” were able to create and release a virus which targeted Mac OS X and successfully infected thousands of macs? The “results” would be more astrinomical than another version of another Windows virus that is seen almost daily. Of all the hacker and coders on the planet, surly one has to like a challenge more than results and must be attempting to attack OS X, I think your view is a little short sighted.

  10. Jeroen

    We have been telling non-Mac users that since 1984. Remember the comparison then was between the Mac operating system, which was remarkably like today’s operating systems, and DOS which was inferior by orders of magnitude. They didn’t get it then, and they certainly aren’t about to get it now, except for one thing:

    Security issues are forcing them to try the alternative. As you have found, the alternative not only provides the security they are looking for; everything else about it ROCKS. (Notwithstanding Counter-Strike, of course.)

    However, we still have miles to go before we sleep. I just read a comment on a PDA forum I attend: “I wouldn’t use a Mac if it were given to me.” Sigh.


  11. To add to my previous post:

    Actually, there seems to be at least three things going on. First, the security issue discussed above.

    Second, the Halo Effect. I have pooh-poohed that theory in this forum before, but I think I might have been wrong. I just had a Windows user over here using my (old, tired) Mac to rip some his CD’s to his brand new iPod. My (old, tired) G3 iMac does a better job of it than his (newer, tired) PC, and has a FireWire port for the transfer to boot. He and his brother are teaming up to buy a 20″ G5 iMac because of the superior computer/iPod experience on the Mac.

    This is my second switch success. Two more in the wings.

    The third issue is the “Mac as Supercomputer”. It is obvious which is the fastest computer that you can go down to the corner store and buy these days. It has an Apple logo on it. No Windows apologist can get around the fact that the really, truly critical missions, which require speed, security, and LOW COST are going with Macs.

    Go Apple.


  12. Anyone who writes a virus wants it to reach the broadest audience possible. I have no doubt that if Apple computers become more popular, more virus writers will target the platform and create security issues. (The Apple’s operating system is another major reason for its relative safety, but by no means can Microsoft’s overwhelming market share be ignored. The current crop of bad-guy hackers loves a challenge, but they tend to love results more.)

    This is a very lame article — stupid even.

    I have no doubt that if Windoze became extinct, there would be no more Windoze viruses. This article should be about viruses, trojans, spyware, and adware, which are prevalent in Windoze, but not on the Mac platform. The WHY of it, is where the author shows a lack of smarts. He sounds so sure of himself as he parrots simplistic conclusions of others who are similarly intellectually challenged.

    MDN might give Krantz a pass, I don’t. I grade him with a 12 — as in twelve-year-old.

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