Thurrott: Apple Macs offer a safer computing experience than Microsoft Windows PCs

“Mac sales grew 43 percent in the first quarter of 2005 and 35 percent in the second quarter, much higher than the PC industry average of 14 percent during the first half of 2005. Analysts are now wondering aloud whether the spyware problem that bedevils Windows-based PCs–but not Macs or Linux machines–is a contributing factor to Apple’s sudden success with the Mac. Some suggest it’s the single biggest factor–far more relevant to new users than the iPod halo effect,” Paul Thurrott writes for Windows IT Pro.

“The evidence is compelling. For the first time, PC users are simply throwing out computers that are infested with spyware, rather than trying to fix them. The problem is that spyware-infested PCs are often impossible to fix. Instead, you need to wipe out the system and start over again. In managed environments, this isn’t a huge problem beyond backing up crucial data, but for individuals, it’s a nightmare. With PC prices now starting at less than $300–or about $500 for an entry-level Mac mini–consumers are just starting over. It’s simpler,” Thurrott writes.

“When the personal computing market first kicked into high gear in the early 1980s, computer enthusiasts were responsible for getting big business excited about the technology. First, VisiCalc-equipped Apple II computers began appearing in businesses, followed by IBM PCs running Lotus 1-2-3. Today, Mac laptops–called PowerBooks–are beginning to appear more and more often in the planes, Internet cafes, and press rooms I frequent around the country. Tech enthusiasts–what we might call tech influencers–are turning, increasingly, to the Mac,” Thurrott writes.

“For Microsoft and its Windows-using customers, this change could be a problem. Or, if you’re interested in a safer computing experience, it could be a solution. Although many business users require Windows-specific applications that won’t run on the Mac, a good percentage of Windows users today require only very basic services, including word processing, email, and Web browsing. These needs are well served by a Mac or even by a Linux-based PC, both of which are arguably safer today than Windows machines,” Thurrott writes. “Questions emerge, of course. Is a more heterogeneous environment really safer, or is that just an added layer of complexity? And are Windows alternatives more secure because they’re better designed or because so few hackers attempt to infiltrate those machines? These are questions for the ages, I suppose. But in a world where spyware is only the most recent attempt at tearing down the House of Windows, I’m beginning to wonder whether the alternatives don’t make some sense.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If your business has locked itself into some Windows-only apps, why not get yourself a copy of Xcode or hire someone to help free your business from Microsoft’s shackles by writing a Mac OS X version? Or find a Mac equivalent and put an end to the limiting and short-sighted platform-specific apps? Your business will most likely end up saving money in the long run by ending the dependence on the security-challenged Windows platform. Mac software for business can be found here. Apple Retail Stores near you hold “Business Day” every Wednesday featuring special presentations and demos for business professionals. In every Apple Store, a team of trained Business Consultants can provide one-on-one consultations to answer your questions, demonstrate products and help you find the perfect solution for your business everyday of the week.

If you’re just an average computer user who’d like to be able to surf the Web with impunity, send and receive emails without fear, do some word processing, spreadsheets, and organize and share your digital photos, movies, and music, the choice to switch from Windows to Mac will be the best decision you’ve made in a long time. Apple’s Mac is simply better than Windows.

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  1. What the hell is going on with Thurott these days?? Maybe Steve outbid Bill for his services? Who knows but it’s good to see him being a little more objective about the Mac platform for a change.

  2. OSX bloody well IS more secure. Just say it Thurrott.

    >Because it is efficient and properly engineered.
    >Because the Mac community has a zero tolerence attitude to such things – as demonstrated by a greater level of software purchasing.
    >And lastly because Mac users are by definition not just ‘followers’.

  3. Paul Thurrot wrote this? WOW! I guess he really is seeing the light. I am really amazed. Good job Paul! And here’s one for the ages… Thank you for writing a thoughtful article.

  4. Let’s not be fooled for one minute, because the logic of PT’s damascene conversion is contained in the article…

    [I]Tech enthusiasts–what we might call tech influencers–are turning, increasingly, to the Mac[/I]

    In other words, PT is hedging his bets that the bloom is off the Windows rose (although it could be argued that it was a crown of thorns since the day it was created) and that “tech influencers” (i.e. the peer group to which PT optimistically aspires) are likely to fuel a revival in Apple’s fortunes that will render Paul’s current “career” (which is still, when all is said and done, whoring for Microsoft) redundant.

    Conversely, there is allegedly joy in heaven over one sinner that repents so who am I to judge…

  5. Well…perhaps Mr Turrot is waiting for being the new official reviewer of OS X when Apple “takes over the world” of operating systems, beating Windows (here, Nostradamus, the Mac Daily News clairvoyant could clarify what will happen). OS X Supersite, anyone?

    Close the door on your way out, Monsieur Gates…don’t forget the Windows ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Quick question here for all everyone at MDN that was sparked by MDN’s take. If you compile code on a Mac for both Intel and PowerPC and you don’t use any specific Apple API’s will that code by executible on a Window’s or Linux PC? If so, why would developers hang out on the Window’s side of the fence when they can write their code on a Mac and have instant access to all computer users? There must be something wrong with that logic…….

  7. MDN – Oh how I wish I could use OS X at work but even if I could get the quotation software I use rewritten I would still require rates from the insurance companies. I tried to write my own software for windows because the stuff provided at the moment is crap (even for windows) but they weren’t interested in anything new.

    So I’m stuck using an old dos system because I don’t want to commit to spending thousands to get a “new” “windows” syste (which is usually just a bodged upgrade of old dos stuff anyway) which doesn’t work and web based quotes systems that only run on IE.

    Unfortunately I need them more than they need me so I’m stuck. The amount of times I’ve rung up complaining about how something doesn’t run on Firefox only to be told that IE is the standard and thus the only thing that will be supported. I’ve learnt amazing self control.

    It’s amazing how for all the millions spent on IT in business how backwards peoples views towards it are. Even within the windows world there is no desire for improvement.

  8. “If your business has locked itself into some Windows-only apps, why not get yourself a copy of Xcode and free yourself from Microsoft’s shackles by writing a Mac OS X version?” Give me a break!

    Who runs this site? A bunch of teen-agers? The answer is not to simply re-code apps that were developed by numerous developers over a lengthy time line. Xcode is not so user friendly that recoding is a snap.

    I love macs, but all or nothing is the corporate world is a silly and stupid suggestion. Let corporations bring Macs in where they can – where they are unable, let them stick with Windows.

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