“You can take the PowerPC chip out of the Mac, but you can’t take the fear out of Mac owners,” Jack Kapica writes for The Globe and Mail Update. “The news last week that Apple’s Boot Camp software would allow users to run Windows on its new Intel-based Macs kicked in a predictable fear that Windows would open Mac users to the wonderful world of viruses so familiar to Windows owners. But it just ain’t so… With Boot Camp, Mac software will be located on another partition on the hard disk within a different file system, so running Windows on a Mac will not expose the Mac or data on the Mac side to any malware… The Windows part will, of course, be vulnerable to viruses.”
“This opens up a dormant debate in the Mac community. So far, there is a generalized belief that there are few or no viruses for Mac OS because Mac OS is intrinsically a better system than Windows, which is true. What few want to believe is that many virus makers are attracted by market share, not platform quality. And if Apple makes serious inroads into Microsoft’s markets, then more malware creators will start looking at Macs, hoping that Mac users’ general innocence with viruses will make them more attractive as targets,” Kapica writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: There are far more Windows sufferers afflicted with “general innocence” than there are total Mac users. Hence the rapid spread of poorly-written kiddie scripts over in Windows-land. Kournikova, anyone? Mac users are generally smart people who’ve taken a real look at the personal computing landscape and made the informed choice of the Mac over Windows, they didn’t just go with the most popular platform like lemmings. Mac users know not to go clicking willy nilly on unknown email attachments or try downloading 24 KB “Microsoft Word” files from Pirates ‘R Us. They’re certainly not going to give their Mac OS X password for permission to install some random app downloaded from some dark corner of the Web. Remember the Mac doesn’t just install apps without the users’ knowledge as does Windows. We don’t think Mac users on average will make more attractive targets than your average Wal-Mart shopper who bought some POS Windows box based purely on its initial sticker price. Sheesh, just listen to the Kim Komando radio show for half an hour some weekend. Go ahead, we dare you! It’s a festival of Windows sufferers trying and failing to do basic things that Mac users do daily with ease. It’s maddening! Do we have a low opinion of a certain (large) segment of Windows users’ computer knowledge? Why, yes. Yes, we do.
Thankfully, the Windows box sticker price shopper will be the last to figure it all out. The first wave of new-to-Mac types will be from those who’ve been wistfully eyeing the platform for years, but just couldn’t bear to part with their Windows-only software, games, and/or comfort-zone. They will be good new Mac users and won’t be any more susceptible to social engineering scams than current Mac users. It’ll take years before the real dopes get Macs and even when they do, Mac OS X will protect them from themselves far better than Windows ever could.
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Cringley: Apple plans to provide best darned Windows experience anywhere -even better than Microsoft – April 15, 2006
Apple’s superior hardware can now run Microsoft’s inferior Windows XP – April 10, 2006
Microsoft: recovery from Windows malware becoming impossible; better to to wipe and rebuild – April 04, 2006
More evidence that Mac users are smarter than Windows users – July 16, 2004