“For real long-term security improvements… the right answer is to look at Linux, or any other Unix, on non x86 hardware,” Paul Murphy writes for CIO Today. “One such option is provided by Apple’s BSD-based products on the PowerPC-derived G4 and G5 CPUs. Linus Torvalds, for example, apparently now runs Linux on a Mac G5 and there are several Linux distributions for this hardware — all of which are immune to the typical x86-oriented exploit.”
“In addition, Apple’s Mac OS X has several compelling attractions of its own. First, it’s the most advanced and user-friendly graphical user environment in commercial use. It offers thousands of commercial applications, including Microsoft Office. And it runs nearly all open-source applications,” Murphy writes. “Also, Macs are less expensive. That’s not what you see in the PC press, but it’s reality. The explanation for that, besides dishonesty on the part of PC reviewers going as far back as 1984, is primarily that Apple’s product cycles resemble those of other consumer electronics manufacturers, not those of the PC industry.”
“Thus, Apple’s products have generally been considerably less expensive and faster than PCs at the beginning of the Apple product cycle, and comparably slower and more expensive than PCs at the end. That probably ended, however, in the late 1990s when the combination of decreasing hardware prices with increasing Microsoft licensing cost reduced the pricing advantage enjoyed by PCs introduced at the end of an Apple product cycle,” Murphy writes.
“Notice that in assessing relative price and performance, both aging and software confuse the issue. Macs run more functional software and have a much longer useful life. As a result, the Macs that PC users see most often — in schools or at grandma’s house — tend to be significantly older and slower than the PCs people compare them to because Wintel product churn means that a three-year-old PC is a museum piece, while a six-year-old iMac running OS 9 is likely still to be in use,” Murphy writes.
“…if security concerns are your most important driver for desktop change, and Microsoft Office compatibility is your most significant barrier, then switching to Macs actually offers you the best of all possible worlds. Microsoft Office on Unix/Risc with a better GUI, longer product life, some cash savings and a performance bonus thrown in,” Murphy writes.
Full article here.
[UPDATE: 4:55pm ET – edited last quoted paragraph for clarity]
MacDailyNews Take: Revel in Murphy’s truth and common sense. Find out more about the thousands of software products for Apple’s Macintosh here.
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