Friday, February 08, 2008

Okay. It's research

Businessweak has an open letter to Steve Ballmer telling him that it is a really dumb idea to buy Yahoo. It's a pretty good article, particularly if you like to watch Steve Ballmer get reamed in the public square.

In the article, Arik Hesseldahl says that Microsoft should ditch the Zune, the XBox, search engines, and everything except software. Yep. Especially Flight Simulator for Mac. And please bring back Word 5.

I disagree with one point in the article. Arik says that Microsoft is "awfully good" at desktop software. They aren't. They suck at software. Okay? They suck. Suck. Their programs are a self-perpetuating industry standard for the moment. It can't last. The stuff isn't good.

Enough of that...

Apple security has started to get more attention among blogospheroids again. There is a lot of attention being paid to "switchers" who may be adopting that smug, "I have a Mac so I don't have to worry about malware" attitude that pisses Windows security nerds off so much. You know why? Because they do. They get as smug as Ichiro heading for third on a full count against a fat lefty.

Dear Windows Apologist/Security Analyst -

Windows security blows. Mac security rocks. Mac users are smug about not having malware problems because guess what - we don't have malware problems. And we don't have an annoying little dialog box popping up in our faces constantly asking permission for every piddling operation we might ask the computer to do. We get a good operating system with few headaches. What's the tradeoff?

There isn't one. None. We don't have any additional annoyance to suffer for our security. Smug? You bet your ASCII we're smug. If you buy a Mac, you can be smug, too.

It's a fact. Macs don't have the security problems that Windows machines have.

It isn't because there are fewer Macs. It's because writing malware for Macs is difficult and labor intensive. You have to be willing to spend a lot of time and effort to get a success. Then, as soon as an exploit is discovered, Apple patches it. So the hacktards have to start all over. That's a lot of hard work. People who write malware are criminals. Criminals are lazy. People who are smart and willing to work hard don't become criminals.

Microsoft builds spyware right into their OS and applications. They want to keep tabs on the customer. If you, lazy hacker, want to know how to write spyware for MS apps, well, MS includes the templates in every package.

Do you know why Macintosh is going to stay safer than Windows? Because criminals are going to STAY lazy and stupid for as long as they stay criminals. And guess what else. The market for Windows is going to increasingly favor the low end. Smart people with money are gravitating to Macs in larger numbers every day. People who don't have the money to buy Macs will have Windows. Criminals do their best business in the lower end of the education and income spectrum. Social engineering is particularly effective in the lower end of education. People with less money are not necessarily easier prey, but the odds are better.

So whatever you're telling people about "security through obscurity" is pure hogwash.

One blogger wishes you'd just honestly admit that there's never going to be a need for a Universal virus app, and move on.

Thank you.


P.S. There's always the "honest work" angle. Give that a shot.

Okay. Tomorrow I'm definitely going to put on clean socks.