Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Opinion: 1 Million Switchers

Analyst: Viruses Pushing Windows Users To Mac - Yahoo! News

A Yahoo! News article makes the point that Windows users are making the Switch To A Mac as a result of thier desire to get away from the viruses plaguing the Windows platform.

From the article:

"Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf observes that cumulative iPod sales have reached 28 million since 2001 and that the momentum of the iPod, in conjunction with the ubiquity of malware on the PC, has created a halo effect that benefits the Mac platform. "Windows users are buying Macs in increasing numbers," he wrote. "We estimate in the first three quarters of calendar 2005, over one million of them have purchased a Mac compared to our estimate of 500,000 for the entire calendar year."

A releated article can be found at AppleInsider. I found the following to be a powerful statment:

"According to checks with Apple Store Specialists, Wolf also said a larger than expected percentage of Windows to Mac converts appear to be purchasing Apple's higher-end systems and that their transition is fueled by the epidemic of viruses and malware on the Windows platform."

My view is that Apple's compelling operating system, hardware, and innovation are driving the transistion. The migration to OS X and Macs is just beginning.

I've indicated in earlier post titled Macworld UK - 400,000 Windows users switch to Mac - analyst that I expected the number of switchers to gain momentum. I stated the following:

"Up to 400,000 users thus far this year is a huge number which could potentially double by the end of the year if the trend is maintained"

Based on the current numbers, I underestimated the number of Windows switchers moving to the Mac. In an earlier post titled, "How to Switch to a Mac - Part 7 - It's Easy" I stated:

"there are no known malware and spyware that are able to compromise a Mac. Tiger is the safest and most secure release of OS X to date. New viruses, spyware, and malware infect Windows systems on a daily basis. Windows based systems require daily software updates and frequent installation of Windows security patches to close vulnerabilities, an inherit problem with Windows. OS X comes shipped with an industrial UNIX firewall that outperforms it's Windows counterpart. The Windows firewall is weak and ineffective. OS X allows you to enable firewall logging to keep a track of blocked traffic and failed break in attempts. With Tiger, you can enable "Stealth Mode" which hides your Mac's existence on the Intenet. For parents who want a safer online experience for their children, Tiger comes with "Parental Controls" that limit what can be done on a Mac. In order to get these secure features on Windows, you'll have to purchase costly third-party software."

In another post titled, "With OS X you spend time working", I wanted to make the point that Microsoft agrees that Windows is an insecure operating system:

"We all know that Windows systems are prone to virus infection, spyware, malware, and unpatched systems are begging to be exploited. In fact, Windows is the most attacked, least secure operating system around. A Windows system is unsecure out-of-the-box and keeping a Windows system safe demands a high degree of vigilance. After purchasing a new Windows computer, it's vital to run Windows Update to download the numerous "critcal fixes" that if unpatched "could allow an attacker to remotely compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it". Now that's a scary quote from Microsoft. They admit in thier security bulletins that an attacker can gain control over your computer thanks to holes in Windows! In fact, it's highly likely that an unpatched Windows system will be exploited within minutes if connected to the Internet."

All in all, Windows users are realizing that there is a choice and that choice is OS X running on a Mac.

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At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, I just switched the other way. Tired of limited software, tired of poor design and engineering issues, ie G5 iMac (the screecher), iBook logic board failures, S-L-O-W processors, and basically the fact that the Mac isn't a Mac anymore, just a pretty PC running a Mac interface on Unix. The uniqeness that was once Mac is gone.

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, what are you smokin anyway? You are SO wrong I don't even know where to start... in fact, I won't even waste my time. People with this kind of attitude would have bought a Yugo to drive because they either didn't know about Honda's and Toyota's quality and resale values or were just downright ignorant! Why would you give up your 'Cadillac' (iMac G5) for a Yugo (Windows)? Sheesh....

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1 :

Sure some people switch the other way, but it's obvious that you made that up.

Some people hate Apple so much that they will invent stories like that, based on news they read on Slashdot...

The Mac installed base is actually 6-8%, and Mac sales are growing at twice the rate of the industry, despite announcing the switch to intel.

There are much more people switching to the Mac than the other way around. There is enough Apps on the Mac (10,000+ OS X compatible programs) to suit the need of %90 of the population.

Many people are afraid to buy a Mac and not like it, or they have a particular application that they think is only on Windows (usually they don't know it's also on the Mac). With the intel Mac, people will be able to install Windows if they want, and soon enough, the WINE project will enable Win32 apps to run transparently in OS X.

The switching rate is likely to accelerate even more by then, and many people will find that they don't even need Window or Win32 apps anyway.

The Mac OS is not a window manager on top of UNIX, anyone saying that shows how clueless they are.


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