iPod virus clash signals Microsoft fear of Apple

“The heated interchange between Apple and Microsoft over a Windows virus that shipped with some iPods since mid-September has provided the marketplace with a clear sign that Apple’s star is on the rise and that Microsoft knows it,” Stan Beer writes for iTWire.

Beer writes, “As has been widely reported, the virus that shipped with some video iPods was a Windows virus. Apple was not backward in coming forward to remind everyone of that fact on its website and in the process set the blogosphere alight. Indignant Windows users (and vendors) chided Apple for not taking full responsibility for the incident as the iPod was the virus vector. However, for every pro-Windows blog poster there was at least as many Mac fanatics ready to hit back in true Jobsian fashion to remind everyone that there have been no major virus outbreaks on the Mac platform.”

Beer notes, “Here at iTWire, Alex Zaharov-Reutt received a monstrous tongue lashing and I as editor copped almost as much abuse for daring to run his article.” More on Zaharov-Reutt’s article here.

“…The facts are that Mac OS X has been virus free for years, while the score count on Windows just keeps piling up. The suggestion that this is because virus writers are not targeting Macs is ludicrous,” Beer writes. “Regardless of the relatively small but once again growing Mac marketshare, there are tens of millions of Macs in use and every virus writer in town would love to be the first to break the bank at Monte Carlo so to speak.”

“The software company actually publicly responded to Apple’s website remarks about Windows security by suggesting that there was a problem with Apple’s quality control,” Beer writes. “The fact that Microsoft has allowed itself to be lured into a war of words with Apple demonstrates that the Cupertino company has succeeded in getting under the Redmond company’s skin.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Microsoft upset with Apple for partially blaming Windows for iPod virus – October 19, 2006
iTWire: Apple iPods infected with Windows virus should be massive wake-up call for Mac users – October 18, 2006
Apple shipped Windows virus on small number of 5G video-capable iPods – October 17, 2006


  1. Ballmer and Gates are probally in a panic state, the state any control freak experiences when the facade starts to crumble. Zune will fail simply because wireless transmission of malware will happen from the get-go. What a cool platform for the virus writers. Go to a mall and spread the crap around like smallpox.

  2. That’s what I’ve been saying– Apple took a knowing dig at M$ to piss them off. Apple and M$ started as a small group of people. Just because the companies are huge now doesn’t mean the competition isn’t personal. Any time Jobs can remind them that they’re still “less than,” he will. Because of their positions, they use spokesmen or press releases to deliver the message, but this is the same as teasing one another on the playground.

    I, for one, love it.

  3. If a Windows virus got into a computer that was formatting/checking HDs at the iPod plant that implies one of 2 things are true.

    a- A Windows device is being used to format or QA/QC the HDs at the iPod plant.
    b- A non-Windows device (Linux/Unix/Mac) without active anti-virus protection was being used to format or QA/QC the HDs at the iPod plant.

    Regardless of the answer, it’s an embarrassment for Apple. Prudence in manufacturing a product marketed to Windows users should be virus free at the time of purchase. That is a reasonable expectation.

    If Windows devices are used in the production of iPods what does that say about the suitability of OS X to the commercial market? If unprotected non-Windows devices are being used, what does that say about quality control and Quality assurance on the line?

    Apple is not clean on this one.

  4. Question:

    what dont you understand about the term “Windows Virus”

    It was obviously a windows machine that infected the devices, either through writing the firmware, or final testing.

    This virus will not infect a linux, unix, or Mac box.

    Apple needs to make sure it wont happen again, they have appoligized, taken the blame, and are resolving the issue. While having a little fun messing with microsoft in the mean time, not to mention getting alot of press.

    Microsoft on the other hand.. Is denying ANY responsibility, has not appoligized for this or the other 300,000 exploits for windows, and they are not resolving the issue.

    Unless you call patching the hoover damn with spackel “resolving the issue”.

  5. Question, Apple have answered your question already, they said they were pissed that MS made crappy insecure software, then said thay were EVEN MORE ANGRY that they had allowed it to happen. So you can bet there will be changes at that manufacturers plan…

  6. “If Windows devices are used in the production of iPods what does that say about the suitability of OS X to the commercial market?”

    It says the manufacture will learn to run a clean windows install at in increased cost, switch to OSX, or lose the contract.

    “If unprotected non-Windows devices are being used, what does that say about quality control and Quality assurance on the line?

    chances are the chinamen at the end of the line has the WINDOWS computer connected to the internet. The end. again, it WAS a windows machine.. shoot could have even been protected with antivirus software, and behind a firewall, everyone knows that with all the protection available you can still easily get infected. They will resolve the issue, or apple will find another builder.

    “Apple is not clean on this one.”

    While its possible if they chose another vendor for assembly they never would have had this problem it doesnt change the fact that they were not directly responsible. They will tighten the QC with that vendor, and I immagine this will put them on thin ice to say the least. Apple is responsible, and Apple is taking responsibility.

    APPLE IS CLEAN because they dealt with the issue openly, and resolved it.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.