An Apple a Day Does Not Keep the Virus Away

We know someone who is obsessed with Apple computers. Actually, obsessed is too lenient a word for him. It really borders on the psychotic. The few times we are around him, we have had a sparring match over Apple vs PC. This is not referring to Ray, as we have never met.
Both sides seem to have their loyalists who swear they will never change. Even my reader/e-mail buddy Ray, in New Orleans suggested I start collecting Apples instead lemons. Those were my twisted words, not his, but the tone was subliminally projecting from his e-mail. Ray put forth that Apple was becoming so much more popular in the States. That made me curious, but today one of the computer newsletters I subscribe to had this in today’s e-mail with this piece of a larger story on computer viruses.   
Windows Secrets Newsletter • Issue 238 • 2010-04-01 • Circulation: over 400,000. 
Okay, you may not be convinced saying it is Windows sabotage, but let me assure you the rest  of the article was not offering too much praise for Fire Fox or Internet Explorer, but Google Chrome came out of the scuffle well. 

Safari may be the most-vulnerable browser”
The first browser to fall in the CanSecWest competition was Safari, mostly due to Charlie Miller‘s expertise in Apple code. There’s been a long and loud debate about why hacking is such a problem on Windows yet relatively unheard of on the Mac.

Given the huge commercial nature of today’s malware attacks, the answer is not that Macs are more secure (they’re not, according to almost every security expert) or that hackers have it out for that evil empire called Microsoft. The answer most likely comes down to money. Mac’s approximately 8% market share simply does not offer sufficient monetary return on a hacker’s time investment. Mac users are just plain lucky.

For an interesting and somewhat worrisome article on Mac malware, read Andy Greenberg’s March 25 article, “The bounty for an Apple bug: $115,000.” This computer security person found 20 ways to hack an Apple, better than some pastry chefs can do.

This of course, made me more curious, so I had to check out market share of Apple. Here are core parts that stem from the Internet coverage.
Apple drops to 5th in US computer sales

Apple has sunk a full position in the US computer market during the spring, according to early estimates by IDC. The Mac producer is expected to have dropped from fourth place in the winter to fifth in the spring as it should have shipped 12.4 percent fewer computers than it did a year earlier, falling to 1.21 million Macs. Its market share is poised to remain the same at 7.6 percent but will have been eclipsed by Toshiba, which could jump over a full percentage point to ship 7.7 percent of PCs in the US.

Of the top five, the only other firm to lose market share is predicted to be Dell. If accurate, Dell would still have the lead with 26.3 percent of the market but will have shipped 18.9 percent fewer PCs than it did in spring 2008 and would have shipped just 40,000 more computers than HP at 4.17 million. HP’s deliveries are still anticipated as being near flat at 2.3 percent growth from year to year, though the lack of change was enough for Dell to at least temporarily regain a lead it had lost in winter of this year.

Acer will have grown the quickest under these estimates, jumping exactly 51 percent to reach nearly 2.01 million PCs shipped and 12.6 percent of the American market.

And then there is this…

“Move over Microsoft. Apple can claim big, big market share numbers, too. According to NPD, in June, nine out of 10 dollars spent on computers costing $1,000 or more went to Apple. Mac revenue market share in the “premium” price segment was 91 percent, up from 88 percent in May.”

So with the cost of PCs dropping steadily, but performance improving, does this mean that Apples are just status symbols for the upwardly mobile? Personally, I have never liked the looks of a Mac or Apple screen and could not see spending time working looking at them. The other thing that always turned me off was downloading or buying some great new software, but noticing the label or note “Sorry, we have not bothered to make a version for any Apple product yet, losers.”  Now that is just wrong. What I can live with is seeing Fire Fox v.3.6.2a for PC and Fire Fox v.000062 beta for MAC. Now that I know there is only 8% market share, it makes sense no one wants to write code for them. ;  )
The second article down is interesting too, discussing how the IPad may chop down the Apple tree.