Why Does Windows Still Suck?


stoid

macrumors 601
I particularily like the analogy to cars. Or any product for that matter! What the hell makes a PC so special that it can malfunction 15 minutes out of the box, and the consumer won't care?!? Microsoft has produced ********* and passed it off as the gold standard in computing experience.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
He seemed to be pointing his finger at a few companies there. Good for him. :D

That reminded me of the USA Today computer test where the Windows XP machine was compromised in 4 minutes. Uggggh. Who would live with that if they didn't need something Windows-specific?

Except for Virtual PC, I'm still Windows-free. I'm not proud, merely satisfied to be away from the headaches.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
It seems to me that the author of this article has made a few vital omissions... either unwittingly or on purpose.

First, he fails to vent his rage at the creators of worms, Trojans, viruses, etc. Such programs are not a natural occurrence of the Internet; they were purposely written by miscreants who deserve (in my opinion) to be taken out and shot in the head. He should turn some of his anger in the direction of those who create such programs.

Second, he fails to mention the fact that his SO was operating without the benefit of a firewall, which I think EVERYONE here would admit is a stupid thing to do. Any halfway-decent firewall, either hardware- or software-based, would stop this problem in its tracks.

Finally, he fails to mention the #1 reason there are no worms, Trojans, viruses, etc. on the Mac platform; its relatively miniscule market share. If the tables were reversed, or if the Mac even had 30% market share, a lot of those miscreant programmers would turn their attention to the Mac. And if you think that the Mac is inherently immune to such programs, think again. No operating system is immune; all it takes is a clever programmer who knows how to find vulnerabilities. Every OS has them.
 

NinjaMonkey

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2003
242
2
Maryland
clayjohanson said:
Finally, he fails to mention the #1 reason there are no worms, Trojans, viruses, etc. on the Mac platform; its relatively miniscule market share. If the tables were reversed, or if the Mac even had 30% market share, a lot of those miscreant programmers would turn their attention to the Mac. And if you think that the Mac is inherently immune to such programs, think again. No operating system is immune; all it takes is a clever programmer who knows how to find vulnerabilities. Every OS has them.
Did you read the article, he clearly states this. He also goes on to say (which is true by the way) that the way OS X is built, is inherently more secure than Windows.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
NinjaMonkey said:
Did you read the article, he clearly states this. He also goes on to say (which is true by the way) that the way OS X is built, is inherently more secure than Windows.
You're right, I missed that part. But the point is still valid; were the situation to be reversed, there WOULD be a lot more viruses, Trojans, worms, etc. on the Mac. There ARE viruses for the Mac; otherwise, why would Norton sell an anti-virus package for the Mac?

I guess my point is, be careful what you wish for. Increased market share will bring with it increased threats by malware.
 

stoid

macrumors 601
clayjohanson said:
It seems to me that the author of this article has made a few vital omissions... either unwittingly or on purpose.

First, he fails to vent his rage at the creators of worms, Trojans, viruses, etc. Such programs are not a natural occurrence of the Internet; they were purposely written by miscreants who deserve (in my opinion) to be taken out and shot in the head. He should turn some of his anger in the direction of those who create such programs.

Second, he fails to mention the fact that his SO was operating without the benefit of a firewall, which I think EVERYONE here would admit is a stupid thing to do. Any halfway-decent firewall, either hardware- or software-based, would stop this problem in its tracks.

Finally, he fails to mention the #1 reason there are no worms, Trojans, viruses, etc. on the Mac platform; its relatively miniscule market share. If the tables were reversed, or if the Mac even had 30% market share, a lot of those miscreant programmers would turn their attention to the Mac. And if you think that the Mac is inherently immune to such programs, think again. No operating system is immune; all it takes is a clever programmer who knows how to find vulnerabilities. Every OS has them.
I agree with you on your first point, I think that some (if not most) blame should fall on the shoulders of those who create the little nasties.

Secondly, I think that if a random internet using individual (who just checks e-mail and checks the weather and buys plane tickets online) would think that a firewall would be something to call the fire department about. There is an overwhelming amount of ignorant users out there. If you continue his car anology, if you buy a new car and never change it's oil, and don't put gas in it, and don't maintain it, it's going to stop working too. It's just that most people had parents that taught them about car maintainance. Perhaps the answer to this is to have a mandatory course about basic internet safety that all users should be required to take before they are allowed online.

And your final statement is dead wrong. He specifically addressed the argument that Mac's don't have viruses because of a lck of interest. He states the basic, "Macs are inherent more secure" but also mentions a Mac website that had a contest for $10,000 to anyone who could hack their website in anyway. The money was never won.
 

stoid

macrumors 601
clayjohanson said:
There ARE viruses for the Mac; otherwise, why would Norton sell an anti-virus package for the Mac?
No, there aren't. Norton anti-virus (or any other anti-virus for Mac OS X is simply a pre-emptive gesture. There is absolutely no reason at this point to install ANY anti-virus software on Mac OS X. And here lies another big difference between the Windows and Mac world AV on Mac is Audio/Video, AV on Windows is anti-virus.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
stoid said:
No, there aren't. Norton anti-virus (or any other anti-virus for Mac OS X is simply a pre-emptive gesture. There is absolutely no reason at this point to install ANY anti-virus software on Mac OS X. And here lies another big difference between the Windows and Mac world AV on Mac is Audio/Video, AV on Windows is anti-virus.
Yes, there are.

While I agree that the number of viruses for the Mac is much smaller than it is for Windows, it's silly to imply that there are NO Mac viruses. And as I said, the lack of attention by virus writers to the Mac is primarily due to the relative dearth of Macs out there.
 

stoid

macrumors 601
clayjohanson said:
Yes, there are.

While I agree that the number of viruses for the Mac is much smaller than it is for Windows, it's silly to imply that there are NO Mac viruses. And as I said, the lack of attention by virus writers to the Mac is primarily due to the relative dearth of Macs out there.
Please go to your link and read them more closely. The viruses listed on that site are ones that were before Mac OS X, attack an open standard that affect every single computer using said standard, or are simply proof-of-concept.

So let me rephrase that. No Mac OS X machine in the wild has since Mac OS X's conception been compromised by any piece of malware of any type. (There was one MS Word 2004 trojan horse, but as it only appeared on P2P networks, anyone who downloaded it must be doing more than the basics on their computer, and that is their just reward for pirating software).
 

NinjaMonkey

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2003
242
2
Maryland
clayjohanson said:
Yes, there are.

While I agree that the number of viruses for the Mac is much smaller than it is for Windows, it's silly to imply that there are NO Mac viruses. And as I said, the lack of attention by virus writers to the Mac is primarily due to the relative dearth of Macs out there.
Those for the most part seem th be OS9 issues. I don't think there is a virus for OS X. Trojans yes, but most of those actually prey on dumb users. There was a trojan on some P2P networks disguised as Word 2004 that would delete your home directory.

The main reason OS X is secure is because 1)Networking services are turned off by default 2)You need to enter a password before a program can make changes to your system.

For the most part you don't need a virus scanner for OS X. Though you could infect a Windows machine if you are passing on Office documents that are infected.
 

bpd115

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2003
809
42
Pennsylvania
NinjaMonkey said:
Though you could infect a Windows machine if you are passing on Office documents that are infected.
Which is the reason NAV exists on the Mac. And who is going to randomly forward those emails or files anyway?

I am not convinced market share has as big of a role as some would make it seem.
 

narco

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2003
1,155
0
California.
I agree. Even though Microsoft has plenty of money to hire hackers who make these viruses and such, it seems like it's not a real priority over there. Maybe they're in cahoots with companies who make virus protection software?

I just got back from lunch with my father, and he was telling me about all the horror stories with his PC. I told him about the mini, and we're going to go buy one as soon as they're available. The problem is most people don't know that there's an alternative -- if they do, they've been told the same Apple stereotypes: cost too much, not compatible, less software.

But quite frankly, I'm wasting my time discussing these things because all this drama doesn't really apply to me. Soon my entire family will be running macs, so I won't be the IT guy when I visit them.

Fishes,
narco.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
16,723
1,027
Mark Morford is great...he always writes quality articles. I definitely had a smile on my face at the breakfast table as I read the morning paper. I couldn't stop nodding along with everything he had to say. The car analogy was terrific!
 

Mav451

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2003
1,657
0
Maryland
Meh, he talks about Word crashing, but I can more than 5 times that I've had OSX crash on multiple things:

Finder locks/Force Quit is unresponsive
KP on opening Photoshop.
KP on installing Adium X.
Lock up on opening Safari (corrupted .plist preference file).

I can go on, but I won't. OSX should not be touted as being uber-stable, b/c its not. The only application that has crashed on my PC is Firefox, and with reason as it is still a program in the works. However, it usually crashed on those IE-sites; which are pretty bad anyway. Word has crashed a total of 1 time for me in the life of my XP machine (on its 3rd year now). It creates multiple backups over the period of a document too, so even if it does crash, it is still recoverable.

Of course if Word is crashing b/c of bad memory (resulting in corrupted data), nothing will help you.
 

Blackheart

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2004
938
0
Seattle
Can anyone find some OS X viruses or spyware that I can download to try out? Who knows, maybe it'll be as fun as a Windows virus...
 

nsb3000

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2003
275
0
Boston, MA
This is a moot point that is overplayed

clayjohanson said:
Finally, he fails to mention the #1 reason there are no worms, Trojans, viruses, etc. on the Mac platform; its relatively miniscule market share. If the tables were reversed, or if the Mac even had 30% market share, a lot of those miscreant programmers would turn their attention to the Mac. And if you think that the Mac is inherently immune to such programs, think again. No operating system is immune; all it takes is a clever programmer who knows how to find vulnerabilities. Every OS has them.
Even if this argument is true, which I am not saying it is, it is besides the point. End users don't care why their computers don't get viruses and spyware, they just care that it doesn't happen on a the Mac platform. Since the chances of Apple reclaiming a significant portion of the market are pretty slim, I am perfectly happy to be secure by virtue of obscurity. Whatever works, works. This is more than you can say for Windows these days.
 

dlfitch

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2004
30
0
Bunzi2k4 said:
that reminds me...

This morning I did a virus check on my new pc. I installed Windows XP pro on wednesday and it had.... 137 viruses!!!!! I wonder if that's a record?
No.

On another note, I think Apple's small market share has 0%, that is nothing, to do with the lack of viruses. With 20,000 windows viruses out there, you really don't get much attention for writing a new one. Sure MSblast got around, but unless you've found your own unexploited aspect of Windows that will hit big, you're really just adding your name to a really long list. Being the first to write an OS X virus, on the other hand, will be a big achievement. People will definitely notice and the media will run the story to death.

Let's see XP has a 6.6% global market share, about twice Apple's. I'd say roughly have of those machines have anti- virus software, as opposed to none of the macs. That means there's as many unprotected PCs out there as there are unprotected macs... plus a good mac virus would probably target UNIX machines as well, making it even more tempting. A windows virus will screw over some kid trying to download porn on kazaa, something that targets unix can shut down bank servers and airline networks and other stuff that's too important to run on windows...
 

bpd115

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2003
809
42
Pennsylvania
Mav451 said:
Meh, he talks about Word crashing, but I can more than 5 times that I've had OSX crash on multiple things:

Finder locks/Force Quit is unresponsive
KP on opening Photoshop.
KP on installing Adium X.
Lock up on opening Safari (corrupted .plist preference file).

I can go on, but I won't. OSX should not be touted as being uber-stable, b/c its not. The only application that has crashed on my PC is Firefox, and with reason as it is still a program in the works. However, it usually crashed on those IE-sites; which are pretty bad anyway. Word has crashed a total of 1 time for me in the life of my XP machine (on its 3rd year now). It creates multiple backups over the period of a document too, so even if it does crash, it is still recoverable.

Of course if Word is crashing b/c of bad memory (resulting in corrupted data), nothing will help you.
While I use both PCs and Macs, your experience is the exeption, not the Norm. I've had one KP on Macs that I watch over (2 G4 iMacs, 1 G5 iMac, 2 12" PBs and a Dual 2.0 G5) and that was because of a bad ram module.

The other day I turned on my virus free, spyware free, firewalled PC and it wouldn't boot due to a missing .dll.....then it had a driver conflict and started rebooting at the login screen.....then I get calls from friends of friends wanting me to fix their PCs because they're "Slow" ...due to spyware and kids installing junk...and no matter how many times you install adaware and spybot and warn these people...the same machine just keeps coming back...

My Finacee just bought a Mini and LOVES it...she said wow, why can't windows be this easy?

My sister loves her eMac....her mother in law went and bought one for herself and her grandaughters....never had an issue with any of the Macs that I've bought or switched people to.

Now that the Mini is here it will be much easier for me to convince people not to sink money into more Ram for their dying P3s or cheap Durons/Celerons.
 

aswitcher

macrumors 603
Oct 8, 2003
5,351
14
Canberra OZ
Slowly slowly I think as the Mac mini and hopefully new eMac (LCD please) hit the right price points, Apple will make a come back...oh, and because of that iPod thingy. Good times ahead...but we become a bigger target ourselves.
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
31
Bunzi2k4 said:
that reminds me...

This morning I did a virus check on my new pc. I installed Windows XP pro on wednesday and it had.... 137 viruses!!!!! I wonder if that's a record?
Well one computer on my dads office had over 2000 infected files but they were by only like 80 viruses so you still have the record :p