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Is Apple untouchable?

Alex Christie

17 January 2008

I am by no means vastly experienced in the history of Apple versus Microsoft, but I grew up with a fair few geeks and I kept a keen ear for news. I remember the same argument I had over and over with a close friend of mine about the Mac and the PC. In my young naivety, I would profusely demand that you can’t change people when they are set in their ways (a.k.a Windows), and to expect huge companies to change the way they produce their software in order to make it cross-compatible was ridiculous. Businesses don’t fuel the minority to make their profit.

Naturally I came from a home of Windows PCs and laptops and she would laugh at the constant battle against viruses and the blue screen of death. Her claim that Linux based systems were the way to go because ‘no one bothers making viruses for it’. She of course was right. Way back then.

For many years Apple have gloated about their surgically clean system. But as they hit the headlines, people’s interest increases and so does their attempt to test vulnerability.

The following was taken from the Secunia website.

Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS X vulnerability stats for 2007
  XP Vista XP + Vista Mac OS X
Total extremely critical 3 1 4 0
Total highly critical 19 12 23 234
Total moderately critical 2 1 3 2
Total less critical 3 1 4 7
Total flaws 34 20 44 243
Average flaws per month 2.83 1.67 3.67 20.25

In my age and maturity I have snapped out of my blind beliefs, and although I am yet to fully convert to a Mac lifestyle, I am reaching out to Linux and trying to stay open minded. As a result I’m sure that the above data really doesn’t mean much. Sure they’ve hit a cross-over period, and they need to crack down on employing people to fix their tiny imperfections, but after that they will carry on being unstoppable. Microsoft better have a string of secrets and surprises up their sleeve otherwise they will start falling behind even with the older generation who have so loyally stuck with them.

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