Dvorak predicts Mac OS X for generic x86, Apple ‘Office’ suite, dawn of Mac viruses and spyware

John Dvorak has outlined the future in his latest column for PC Magazine. According to Dvorak’s crystal ball:

1. Apple releases OS X86 as a proprietary system for its boxes. It’s immediately pirated and goes into the wild.

MacDailyNews Note: This was an easy “prediction,” as it seems to have already happened. See Report: Apple Mac OS X 10.4.1 for Intel hits piracy sites (June 11, 2005) for more information.

2. Apple squawks about the piracy to draw attention to it, thus increasing the piracy, creating a virtual or shadow beta test. The complaining is necessary to assure Microsoft that Apple does not intend to compete with Windows. This keeps Microsoft selling MS Office for the Mac.

MacDailyNews Note: We haven’t heard any official “squawking” from Apple, yet, although it is very early. See Is Apple setting up the ultimate “Switcher” campaign by preparing to let Mac OS X speak for itself? (June 10, 2005) for more.

3. There are driver issues that get resolved by the hobbyists, and OS X86 now remains in shadow beta, being tested in a process that is apparently outside of Apple’s control, but is in fact carefully monitored by the company.

MacDailyNews Note: Sounds plausible.

4. Once the system stabilizes in the wild, Apple announces that it cannot do anything about the piracy situation and that it’s apparent that everyone wants this OS rather than Windows. It’s “the will of the public.” Apple then makes the stupendous announcement that it will sell a generic boxed OS, “for the rest of you!” One claim is that it is a solution to spyware.

MacDailyNews Note: This, too, sounds plausible.

5. Microsoft freaks out and stops development of Office for the Mac. But in the interim, while not selling OS X86 “for the rest of you,” Apple has been developing a complete Office suite, which it announces at the same time.

MacDailyNews Note: Interesting, but would Apple perhaps release their “Office” before or after Microsoft freaked, if they do indeed freak.

6. Spyware and viruses emerge on the Mac.

MacDailyNews Note: Anything’s possible, but even if something did happen, it would pale in scope to the morass of the Windows platform. Mac OS X is just too battened down and looked at by too many people for too many years for tens of thousands of viruses to emerge for Mac OS X.

Dvorak writes, “It is easy to predict what will happen after that. To many Mac aficionados the uniqueness of the platform will be lost forever, and who knows what they’ll do for fun. But one thing is for sure: The big problem that Mac users will have to face is the emergence of virus code and spyware aimed at them. It’s possible that the Mac users going into this new world will be like the American Indians when confronted by smallpox-contaminated blankets. Most Mac users are ignorant about this plague and ill prepared to deal with it.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The insistence by some that if Mac OS X had the market share of Windows that viruses and malware would be just as bad is just illogical. There are millions and millions of Mac OS X computers on the ‘Net and zero viruses. Do the math. Use common sense. Mac OS X is simply more secure than Windows by design.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple may be prepping for attack on Microsoft in late 2006 – June 12, 2005
Report: Apple Mac OS X 10.4.1 for Intel hits piracy sites – June 11, 2005
Dvorak: Apple’s move to Intel could kill Linux – June 07, 2005
Dvorak: ‘Apple should be stronger, but Mac mystique will wane’ in wake of Intel switch – June 07, 2005
Dvorak predicts the ‘MacIntel’; says ‘Apple must go with Intel or risk its future’ – April 07, 2003
Dvorak spews latest prediction: Apple to go Intel within 18 months – March 19, 2003
Is Apple setting up the ultimate “Switcher” campaign by preparing to let Mac OS X speak for itself? – June 10, 2005

68 Comments

  1. While some of John Bonehead Dvorak’s predictions are not hard to believe, he simply does not understand operating systems and security. If he did, he would not predict that viruses would become prevalent.

  2. 90% of Windows viruses would be stopped cold if Microsoft would simply turn off “Hide Extensions of Know File Types” as a default setting. Gee why did I just get sent a .PIF/.SCR file?

  3. Sounds plausible, virus maybe too. But all in all ‘Tis a good time to be a Mac user! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. I do believe, for all the reasons outlined many times on MDN that OSX is way more secure, but I secretly worry that there’s some aspect that no one has thought of yet that will be exploited in the future. True, it won’t be on the scale of 98,000 known viruses chasing Windows users, but I think we really don’t know for sure until we are in the battle. Yes I know there’s 25 million Mac users, but what we all hope is about to happen will make that lok like small potatoes.

  5. Remember, when they claim security by obscurity, remind them that MS is claiming security by design for Longhorn, just like they’ve promised that Longhorn will have many of the other things that are already in OS X.

    Of course, like many of the things that are already in OS X, it will probably be dropped from Longhorn.

    Why do they think failed promises are better than consistent deliveries?

  6. As could be easily inferred from Steve’s keynote at WWDC, there are 16 million Mac OS X systems in use. Mac OS X has been out for 5 years now. There still isn’t a single virus, trojan, worm, or spyware that has been found in the wild in all that time.

    That would seem to indicate that OS X is indeed more secure by design. Sure, the first virus will emerge sooner or later, but I think OS X’s track record should normally be like getting hit with a clue stick…but the Windows-infested do have thick skulls. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  7. I wouldn’t rule out viruses or spyware in the future, but the fact that it has not happened yet has nothing to do with market share and everything to do with the *nix foundation. If it was that easy to write an OSX virus somebody would have already done it to:

    a) be the first to hack a Mac and have bragging rights to shut up the “Mac zealots” AND/OR
    b) wipe out hundreds of thousands of dollars of iTunes libraries across the country

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