Apple has some clever new commercials, featuring John Hodgman, the resident “expert” on The Daily Show. Very likable ads comparing PCs and Macs, showing the PC guy with a virus and crashing and the like. Funny!
In unrelated news this week, one of the first viruses aimed at Mac OS X is circulating and experts predict that Apple’s higher profile will make it a bigger target soon. A researcher identified seven new vulerabilities in OS X which have gone unpatched since he notified the company about them in January. In fact, the number of discovered Mac vulnerabilities has soared in recent years, with 81 found last year, up from 46 in 2004 and 27 in 2003, according to the Open Source Vulnerability Database.
Brian Krebs, influential columnist for the Washington Post, wrote yesterday about his research on Apple’s performance in releasing patches for security flaws. He found that in the past two years, Apple was far slower than Microsoft or Linux vendors to fix security vulnerabilities. He also found that his research was difficult because Apple conceals information about OS X’s security flaws and Apple’s responsiveness.
Macs are great. I love Macs. I love the childish enthusiasm of Mac users. I hate the religious fervor that makes people overhype Macs. When you buy a Mac, you’re making an intentional decision to buy a product with a 3% market share, virtually no knowledgeable local support, very little compatible hardware or software, and the same vulnerabilities, crashes and frustration faced by Windows users. Buy a Mac, use it in good health, have fun, but don’t overstate its wonders.