How to end Windows malware nightmares: Get a Mac

“Increasingly, I’m hearing real discontent from the masses about Windows, and it doesn’t have much to do monopolistic practices, ripping off ideas or a lack of innovation,” Dwight Silverman reports for The Houston Chronicle. “It’s malware.”

Silverman reports, “I keep hearing this refrain from readers, callers to Technology Bytes (the KPFT radio show I co-host on Wednesday nights), friends and co-workers: ‘I’m sick and tired of all these viruses and spyware. I hear that’s not a problem on the Mac. I’m thinking of buying one.'”

Silverman reports, “In a report issued last week, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Apple could increase the Mac’s market share by a percentage point by the end of 2007. The tech trade publication eWeek said the report cited Apple’s use of Intel processors, its success with the iPod and the release of Boot Camp, which lets Macintosh users switch between Windows and the Mac OS when their computers start up.”

“Most of this growth is in the consumer market, and it’s largely going to come from everyday users switching to Macs,” Silverman reports.

“I’m surprised that Munster does not mention frustration with Windows’ security issues as a driving factor in the Mac’s growth, because that’s the background hum I’m hearing most often,” Silverman reports.

Silverman reports, “And Apple and its fans are more than happy to play that card. Apple smartly created one of its clever ‘I’m a PC / I’m a Mac’ ads to address it, in which the ‘PC Guy’ is shown sneezing bleary-eyed from ‘that virus that’s going around.’ In the end, he says, ‘I think I’m going to crash’ and passes out, while the smug ‘Mac Guy’ says he’s not worried about viruses.”

MacDailyNews Take: People need to look up the definition of the word “smug.” Making a smart decision, explaining why you did, and showing the benefits you derive from it is not being smug. Apple’s ads aren’t smug, they’re public service announcements.

Silverman continues, “Microsoft’s answer to this is Windows Vista, which includes improved security features and roadblocks that, in theory, should get in the way of much of the malware currently out there. However, stupid user tricks are an integral cause of spyware/virus infection as anything, and Vista can only do so much to change the habits of computer owners.”

Silverman writes, “And, of course, users will have to upgrade to Vista or get it on new PCs to derive its benefits. But the hour is growing late, and when the time comes to do the latter, more are going to take the opportunity to switch to a Mac. They’ll do so out of frustration and disgust rather than take another chance with a Windows product. The ultimate nightmare for Microsoft would be if Vista doesn’t succeed at stopping viruses and spyware. Its executives should lie awake nights, worrying whether the next generation of malware will find holes in Vista similar to those that riddle Windows XP.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, did you hear the news about how Hackers are selling Windows Vista zero-day exploits? Microsoft executives, start your nightmares!

Ryan Naraine reports for eWeek, “Underground hackers are hawking zero-day exploits for Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system at $50,000 a pop, according to computer security researchers at Trend Micro.”

Naraine reports, “In an interview with eWEEK, Trend Micro’s chief technology officer, Raimund Genes, said prices for exploits for unpatched code execution flaws are in the $20,000 to $30,000 range, depending on the popularity of the software and the reliability of the attack code. Bots and Trojan downloaders that typically hijack Windows machines for use in spam-spewing botnets were being sold for about $5,000, Genes said. The Trend Micro discovery highlights the true financial value of software vulnerability information and serves as further confirmation that a lucrative underground market exists for exploit code targeting unpatched flaws.”

Full article here.

Of course, we already know that Microsoft’s Windows Vista is vulnerable to malware from 2004.

Apple ‘Get A Mac’ Viruses ad:

Related article:
Apple ‘Get A Mac’ Viruses ad selected in top 5 viral video of 2006 by IFILM – December 16, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista vulnerable to malware from 2004 – November 30, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista spyware may prompt users to upgrade to Apple Mac – October 09, 2006
Apple touts virus-free Macs – August 25, 2006
Get a Mac: Viruses, spyware cost U.S. consumers $7.8 billion over last two years – August 08, 2006
Microsoft’s oft-delayed, much-pared-down Windows Vista hacked at Black Hat – August 07, 2006
Ballmer analyzes Microsoft’s One Big Mistake, Vista… er, ‘One Big’ Vista Mistake – August 02, 2006
Symantec details more security holes in Microsoft’s Windows Vista – July 26, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Sophos Security: Dump Windows, Get a Mac – July 05, 2006
What Microsoft has chopped from Windows Vista, and when – June 27, 2006
Security company Sophos: Apple Mac the best route for security for the masses – December 06, 2005

Apple: ‘Get a Mac. Say ‘Buh-Bye’ to viruses’ – June 01, 2006
Apple Macs and viruses: Fact vs. FUD – May 26, 2006
‘Mac security’ garbage reports continue to proliferate – May 10, 2006
ZDNet: Reduce OS X security threats – ignore security software – May 05, 2006
Unix expert: Mac OS X much more secure than Windows; recent Mac OS X security stories are media hype – May 03, 2006
Macs and viruses: the true story – May 02, 2006
Anti-Mac FUD machine shifts into overdrive – May 01, 2006
FUD Alert: Viruses don’t catch up to the Mac – May 01, 2006
BusinessWeek: Apple should hire security czar to combat uninformed media FUD – March 09, 2006
Spate of recent Mac security stories signal that Microsoft, others getting nervous – March 06, 2006
Mafiasoft: Microsoft to charge $50 per year for security service to protect Windows – February 07, 2006
Computer columnist: anti-virus software purely optional for Apple Macs, not so for Windows – November 01, 2005
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005


  1. My present inventory: 2 Macs with 5 users each, including 2 teenagers. Both Macs are constantly on the internet for web surfing, e-mail, multiple flavors of instant messaging and whatever else the kids sneak into their user accounts.

    Attacks, problems, crashes based on malware/viruses/adware?

    ZERO, going on five years now.

    Am I being smug, or am I gloating?

  2. Credit card numbers with valid PINs are sold for $500 each, while billing data that includes an account number, physical address, Social Security number, home address and birth date can be found for between $80 and $300.

    The auction marketplace is also selling driver’s licenses for $150, birth certificates for $150, Social Security cards for $100, and credit card numbers with security code and expiration date for between $7 and $25.

    And most of the above are extracted from happless Windows users !!

    I’m a smug Mac user. Friends who use Windows invariably respond to my query about their computer in this way: “Almost clean, there’s just one or two things I can’t get rid off.”

    Beats me how they do any ecommerce at all – online banking, auctions, purchases – and if they do, then how they sleep at night.

  3. 7 years with 3 Macs always on. One being a server.
    No virus software loaded. Only thing between them and Roadrunner is a Linksys firewall.

    Total viruses and spyware?


    I love to tell PC users that one.

  4. smug |sməg|
    adjective ( smugger, smuggest)

    having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements

    Apple’s ads ARE smug. But it’s not like smugness is always bad or uncalled for. They have good reason to be.

  5. I’ve been using macs since 1993 and I’ve had one virus while using OS8x which I picked up from a MacAddict cd. It was a benign Merry Christmas virus. At 12:01 on Christmas it wished me a Merry Christmas and then self-destructed.

    On OSX (I’m still using 10.3.9) I’ve had none. I’m forced to use Windows at work and frankly, my dog’s arse is more appealing than XP. Anything negative that happens to Microsoft is fine by me. Those bastards deserve it. I just feel sorry for Windows users who have to be the sacrificial lambs and who get hurt along the way. Hey guys wake up and get a Mac.

  6. we use Macs (5) in our house except my youngest who last year bought a sony vaio …. after 6 months she couldn’t use the maching at all. even her techgeek friends couldn’t get it going. she gave it to a friend who did a complete install. today, it once again wont run. in that tme, she has been using mine under her own account with no problems (i also use it for my business; hows that for fearless). so 2 weeks ago i bought her a macbook.

    she loves it. took it on a trip, had no problems with accessing wireless at the hotels where she was staying. she is on the internet almost constantly. shes starting her own business with horses and i’m showing her the ins and outs of using apples included software.

    her words ‘ i’ll never get another windows machine again’.

  7. Guys, I’ve lived in Houston for 16 years – Dwight Silverman has always been a “smug” Windows user. If he finally gets it – that the Mac is a real option – the message is finally sinking in. I think it’s good news that another PC weenie is open to the idea – the article does not (unfortunately) endorse buying Macs but just mentions that he’s hearing a lot of callers to his radio show are considering it.

    MDN Magic Word “efforts” – Apple’s OS X efforts are getting noticed.

  8. Yeah, I had to pull some involuntary IT work for my folks when their old P4 system was locked up with malware. I was able to fix it without doing a reinstall, but that’s probably due to the fact that they don’t have a broadband, always on internet connection. And the software to keep the machine clean, AVG antivirus free edition, slowed the machine down almost as much as the malware did.

    I tried to talk them into getting a mac mini, since they start at $600, but their eyes just started to glaze over; they simply wanted to keep using their old system. I imagine if they ever replace that system, they’ll go over to a big box store and buy a dell or emachine on sale for $2-300 after rebates.

    Talk about a false economy! Honestly, I wish they’d approach buying a computer in the same way that they did a car, looking at things like style, reliability and resale value, and not just the lowest price. I can’t fathom this mentality. If people bought cars the same way, the Yugo would have been the best selling car in America.

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