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Mac Install-Base Shown to Be 16%

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the thats-a-lot-of-fruit dept.

Apple 717

Kelly McNeill writes "MacDailyNews has an editorial which summarizes reports from various research groups that analyzed the number of computer users affected by viruses. The conclusion was that 16 percent of all computer users are not affected by viruses because they use Macs. The lack of viruses on a Mac is commonly known, but the interesting thing is the fact that the results finally provide the first set of conclusive numbers which illustrate the Macintosh's install-base. So far only "market-share" statistics are commonly published for the public and do not convey install base. (If for example 2 people are using computers and one replaces his 2x in a 3 year period and the other only does once, market-share dynamics dictate that one demographic has 75% market share while the other has only 25% -- even though install base is still 50/50.)"

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Who made the claim? (3, Insightful)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727912)

I actually went to RTFA because I wanted to see just who it was claiming that the Mac installed base was 16% and what do I find?

Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16 percent of computer users are on Macs.

OK, I won't worry too much about bias now, though if someone has a reason to think the SPA is off-base, please let us all know. This is truly something to celebrate. Now, let's get the Linux installed base to 16%...

Re:Who made the claim? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727937)

The number only seems high because for years the word market-share has been mistakenly used to describe installed base instead of percentage of sales each quarter.

Re:Who made the claim? (1)

Sirdar Bey (875827) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727946)

The SPA is just inflating this number to inflate their claims of software piracy on the Mac, as that will suddenly be much higher.

Or is that the SBA? Not the coin, mind you, but is this SPA the same organization that counts every downloaded file everywhere as a lost sale and estimates these huge numbers of dollars/euros/skekels as being "lost" to piracy every year?

I might be off my rocker.

You're thinking of the BSA (1)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728082)

You're thinking of the BSA (Business Software Alliance), I believe.

--Ryv

Long live closed source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728050)

>This is truly something to celebrate.

Yes, I believe that free source advocates should celebrate that a closed source company which doesnt even allow you to fiddle in your own box is doing well.

Open source is the way to go unless its Apple, right?

Re:Long live closed source (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728075)

Open source is the way to go unless its Apple, right?

What the hell are you talking about? GOOD software is "the way to go", and openness is a nice bonus. How hard can this concept be?

Re:Long live closed source (1, Flamebait)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728081)

GOOD software is "the way to go", and openness is a nice bonus.

Don't bother. For these guys, the only good software is free software.

Re:Long live closed source (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728096)

I've just tried to fiddle in my Mac. You're right, I don't even come close to fitting in there, let alone have enough room to bow. My AMD box has a lot more room inside, but it's all taken up with cabling and fans. I can hardly hear my fiddle outside the box.

My mom's mac is a PCI machine. I may not be able to fiddle in it, but I can install and change cards. She's running OS8. I'm running OS7 on mine.

Neither one of them gets counted in the market share statistics, although at least my mom's gets counted in web statistics. She's never gotten a virus. Neither has my Mac, but I cheat . . .I've never hooked it up to a net. Pretty much nobody but me, (and you folks look like I can trust you and you won't tell) even knows it exists, yet it has remained part of the installed base for many years.

And I can state catagorically that the installed base of Tandy Color Micros may be small, but it is not zero.

Can't even kazoo in that puppy.

KFG

Re:Long live closed source (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728098)

Apple contribute to open source. Their entire kernel and userland are open source - based, in part, on BSD-licensed sources, so there was no requirement that they remain open-source. They contribute to GCC, and their web browser frameworks are open source[1].

Even if they contributed nothing to the open source community, it is beneficial that they have a significant market share. If there are two major players in the operating systems market, then it is a lot easier to introduce others than if there is only one - people will already have the expectation that software run on more than one platform.

[1] Yes, it's required under the LGPL, and yes they are not providing their sources in the most useful form to KHTML developers, but they are still releasing sources which are likely to be useful bringing a web browser to the GNUstep platform.

Security Through Obscurity (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727915)

Is NEVER the answer.

Re:Security Through Obscurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727993)

I don't know why someone claimed it as offtopic, but I believe it has some truth to it. Why go for the little treasure?

Re:Security Through Obscurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728051)

If you aren't the original poster, it's because "Security Through Obscurity" is a fucking stupid slashbot phrase which is used by idiots to sound intelligent.

If it's secure, it's secure. Fuck it.

Re:Security Through Obscurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728122)

I'm not the original poster (i'm the second poster). And you're right, and this site clearly has alot of bad karma surrounding it.

I have a low profile anti-virus. That's it. I don't scan for spyware, or viruses. No problems. Hell it's even as stable as Linux.

So, again; fuck it all to hell and to those who spread FUD around in articles like these.

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727916)

What percent of all computer users are not affected by viruses because they use Linux then?

Re:Linux (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727935)

If you use Linux, you are not just a computer user. Thus, Linux was not included in this survey.

HALO 3 LEAKED SCREENSHOTS!!!!! HOT HOT HOT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727918)

www.halo3leak.cjb.net

Re:HALO 3 LEAKED SCREENSHOTS!!!!! HOT HOT HOT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727949)

That is very impressive, it will truly take advantage of the hardware

Re:HALO 3 LEAKED SCREENSHOTS!!!!! HOT HOT HOT (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728007)

Image Properties

Location: http://www.jgiannotti.com/pwned/imagecrash.jpg [jgiannotti.com]
Width: 10000000px
Height: 10000000px
Size of File: 82.61 KB (84588 bytes)

Didn't do SHIT to my computer. YOU FAIL IT.

Re:HALO 3 LEAKED SCREENSHOTS!!!!! HOT HOT HOT (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728083)

Interesting. Crashed mine. (Windows/Firefox)

I'm pretty certain the lame "HOT HOT HOT" stuff doesn't encourage people to try the url. I only bothered when I saw your reply, and I wanted to see what happened.

Re:HALO 3 LEAKED SCREENSHOTS!!!!! HOT HOT HOT (0, Redundant)

DashEvil (645963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728114)

Didn't crash me. OpenBSD/Firefox

Re:HALO 3 LEAKED SCREENSHOTS!!!!! HOT HOT HOT (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728133)

Didn't crash mine.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8b2) Gecko/20050531 Firefox/1.0+

A bit much (1)

Beuno (740018) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727921)

16% seems a bit much, but I'm impressed anyway. It's great to have these kinds of statistics.

Re:A bit much (2, Interesting)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727967)

I find it feasible. at a recent science conference with several hundred people, those with non-Mac laptops were a very small minority. (out of the non-Macs it was about 50/50 Windows/linux.)

this is only tiny sample and I'm not exrapolating from it, just using it as an example how Mac usage is very high in some places so 16% isn't so far fetched imo.

Not as detailed as I wanted (1)

bugbeak (711163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727924)

Subject says all. Half the article focused more on one guy's experience in the Mac world as opposed to the topic.

a questionable basis for a percentage (5, Informative)

quinxy (788909) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727926)

Hmm, the summary of the article seems to include more facts than the article itself. The summary makes a big point of how TFA's 16% number if found from the virus infection percentage. TFA doesn't say that's where the 16% comes from at all. All the article body says is "In addition, the Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16 percent of computer users are on Macs." The headline says that 16% of users aren't infected because they use Macs, but it doesn't explain that or justify it. Besides, even if the summary was correct, then this would seem a very poor way to guess at install base. The browser's "user agent" header sent to a general interest site like Google would seem a far better way. Admittedly that would be skewed by Mac users using being "forced" to access Google from Windows in a work environment, but still. That seems like it would have to be more accurate than the approach hinted at in the summary. In searching for google stats on this I found on the Mac Daily News site a discussion which included this very topic [macdailynews.com] when the issue of install base was previously discussed there.

Re:a questionable basis for a percentage (0)

stuttering stan (889500) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727995)

The article seems to be a c-composite of b-blurbs. The b-blurbs support circular reasoning. I wish the article was a little m-more informative. There are a lot of Apple ru-m-mors this weekend.

-- stan

Re:a questionable basis for a percentage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728057)

Boy, that's a pretty gay gimmick you've got there, Stan!

further info about google's zeitgeist OS numbers (4, Interesting)

quinxy (788909) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728024)

An interesting related article and discussion on interpreting Google's zeitgeist OS numbers [osopinion.com] . And what it might mean for % usage of OS (which for Mac ends up being the 3-6% people usually speak of, 3% from Google's direct number and another 3% from Google 'Other' OS).

no virus != apple. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727930)

Just because it doesn't have a virus or malware on it, doesn't mean it is an Apple computer. My Laptop is not an Apple, it doesn't have any malware on it (running Linux). My desktop doesn't have any on that I know of, it is running Windows.

I have several other machines of both windows and linux that are completely clean. They aren't apple. I have a Powerbook, that is clean too, but it is an Apple.

Re:no virus != apple. (-1, Troll)

DashEvil (645963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728086)

I disagree. Linux is malware.

Re:no virus != apple. (2, Insightful)

uw_badgers (889261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728154)

Just because it doesn't have a virus or malware on it, doesn't mean it is an Apple computer.

Although highly misleading, technically, the article's title does not claim that all computer without viruses are Macs. It's claiming that 16% of users do not have viruses because they use Macs. That statement does not preclude the possibility of additional (non-Mac) users that do not have viruses because they practice safe computing.

Only those who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727933)

don't practice least privilege, and I quote, "continue to run their adware, spyware, and virus removal programs." While .25% of the Windows install base calims they actually know how to use the OS.

It's not that hard.

That wasn't the conclusion... (4, Insightful)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727934)

...if you actually read the RTFA, you'd notice that the 16% statistic comes from the Software Publishing Alliance, not the editorial itself.

In fact, the conclusion of the editorial is the following two points:

1)More people use Macs than most people realize.

2) People who use Macs don't get many viruses.

Shock! Horror! What next - "The Sky is Blue"? I'm a mac user, and am all for increading market share, but this editorial seems rather vapid...where's the news?

Re:That wasn't the conclusion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727963)

Shock! Horror! What next - "The Sky is Blue"? I'm a mac user, and am all for increading market share, but this editorial seems rather vapid...where's the news?

News = man bites dog. If everybody thinks the Mac's marketshare is 1 or 2 percent, and it's actually 16 percent (800 to 1600% higher), then that is a man biting a frickin' dog and thus news.

Admittedly, the original article only mentions this fact in passing, it isn't the thrust of the article. But the summary admits as much. So what are you whining about exactly?

Re:That wasn't the conclusion... (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728008)

I hope that the elite hackers don't hear about this, they might decide that there are enought "victims" to make targeting Macs worth while.

Re:That wasn't the conclusion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728062)

Bring it. Mac OS X is more than ready.

Re:That wasn't the conclusion... (2, Insightful)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728071)

In general, so is WinXp with SP2. The vast majority of problems on up-to-date computers doesn't come from security holes, it comes from people doing stupid things. People are just as able to install $VIRUS from $SHADY_WEBSITE on OSX as on Windows. The only saving grace is that Mac OS X doesn't effectively force users to run with Administrator/Root priviledges, as Windows does.

Re:That wasn't the conclusion... (1)

Floody (153869) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728140)

In general, so is WinXp with SP2. The vast majority of problems on up-to-date computers doesn't come from security holes, it comes from people doing stupid things. People are just as able to install $VIRUS from $SHADY_WEBSITE on OSX as on Windows. The only saving grace is that Mac OS X doesn't effectively force users to run with Administrator/Root priviledges, as Windows does.

Burglars were just as able to break into his house as mine. His only saving grace was that he had a front door.

Mac users arent 16% (0)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728009)

The sky IS blue. But mac users certainly arent 16%. I'd be VERY surprised if they were more than 10%. You'll have great trouble finding a mac in most Asian countries; the mac is America-centric.

So here in N America, running into a mac is a rare event. The enormous bulk installations of colleges and companies are PC. Most of them are Dell, HP or IBM. A mac is more like for certain people with certain tastes, a few college libraries and graphic designing classes. Even the libraries I should say are more than 90% PC.

Mac users do spend $$$ on average more than PC users. Thats partly beause they HAVE to, and macs are more expensive anyway. Which means mac users will spend more on other things like software, monitor etc. Mac users are also more vocal; there arent many pro-PC people around.

Re:Mac users arent 16% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728016)

Apple is pretty popular in Japan.

Re:Mac users arent 16% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728047)

The Mac is also extremely popular on Cato Island. I'd say 16% was more of a minimum.

Re:Mac users arent 16% (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728065)

Mac users perhaps spend more on the one off purchase of the computer , but Mac users are allot less likely to upgrade as often .
Daily i still use my g3 imac from 2000 though i have now got an emac from 2005 .
Talking about my PC ,well it has been upgraded constantly i think i have had 4 or 5 since 99.

Great news, but in a way I don't care (4, Insightful)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727936)

This is good news to hear. In a way, it confirms what I always suspected (especially since I keep my Macs longer than most of my equivalent PC friends -- and I'm a real gearhead). When you get down to it, though, I don't really care how much marketshare/install base Apple has, so long as they can keep cranking out the excellent products that they do.*

*Please keep in mind that I do realize the connection between profitability and new product development. All I'm saying is that the numbers could mean less as long as I'm a happy customer. And boy am I happy.

someone had some MAC viruses shared here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727940)

In US (0, Troll)

Indio_do_Xingu (675644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727945)

That figure is for the US. There is a world outside US, and macs are not commom at all...

Re:In US (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727984)

I'm in my office in the UK and there are 3 linux workstations and 2 Mac laptops. within a 5 seconds walk there are another 2 Mac laptops and 9 more linux workstations. what's "common" can be a very subjective thing. what makes you so sure your idea of common is right?

Re:In US (1)

zpok (604055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728032)

That really really depends where you are. Belgium for instance has higher than average mac sales.

Re:In US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728156)

France, also, has higher-than-US-average mac ownership, FYI.

Of course (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727951)

there couldn't possibly be any other operating systems that don't get viruses making up some of that 16%, could there? Oh no, because there's so many viruses for linux and beos and bsd and os/2....

OS/2 !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728029)

Yeah you are right to point out this for os/2.
Because, oh man! you have no idea how os/2 is so popular these days, I don't understand why they don't tell about os/2 in those stats... Look: the other day I just surprised my grandma installing os/2 on her new computer, it MUST have an important part in those 16% !

Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibase! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727954)

Why aren't there 16% Safari/OSX.*Mozilla users on the web? These numbers are very much made up...

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727979)

Mod this up. It almost totally disproves this 'article'.

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728015)

About two thirds of them have no need for the web because they are hard working graphic artists, layout professionals and other people of the gay persuasion.

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728017)

on my Mac I browse 'trusted' sites with Safari, and 'untrusted' ones with Firefox (adblock). slashdot and most commercial sites are 'untusted' in this sense. but the BBC for example is non-commercial and trusted.

plus, no one has ever changed the way their browser identifies itself to websites have they? oh wait...

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728113)

on my Mac I browse 'trusted' sites with Safari, and 'untrusted' ones with Firefox (adblock). slashdot and most commercial sites are 'untusted' in this sense. but the BBC for example is non-commercial and trusted.

plus, no one has ever changed the way their browser identifies itself to websites have they? oh wait...


How does this affect which OS (not UA) is reported? Are you saying that a very significant portion of Mac users are changing their OS id to Windows, and what would be the reason for that?

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728129)

Interesting. Here's a site [macbuds.com] that you and your fellow Mac users may be interested in.

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728074)

My '97 PPC is still running Explorer. I tried to isntall Mozilla, and it objected mightily.

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (1)

TERdON (862570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728092)

I still don't believe in the 16% figure (it might be correct for the US, but no way it's correct when you factor in the rest of the world.

I would believe in slightly different rates though. Except of the new hordes of nerds flocking to the mac, a lot of the mac users aren't very tech savvy. It wouldn't surprise if a lot of the installed base of Macs isn't used very much, at least not to browse the web...

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728118)

Or perhaps they also have an intel box, which they use to browse the web because they're sick of sites which discriminate against mac users.. www.raveshack.com being such an example

Re:Use the browser statistics to estimate the ibas (1)

Nonoche (138802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728135)

You do realize that there's probably a majority of computers NOT connected to the Internet, don't you?...

Inaccurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727965)

People may buy a Mac, then install Linux or *BSD onto it.

call those guys (1)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727981)

see how those 5 guys are doing. wait, IM them... they prob dont do much human interaction.

If the say its l33t, then we know its ok.

Re:Inaccurate (4, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728035)

People may buy a Mac, then install Linux or *BSD onto it.

That's something I've never understood.

Mac hardware's nothing special - it's primarily the software that makes Macs so great in comparison to a typical Windows/Linux/BSD PC. Why the heck would anyone buy a Mac and then install a Linux on it? Just doesn't make sense.

Re:Inaccurate (1)

brpr (826904) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728088)

Mac hardware's nothing special - it's primarily the software that makes Macs so great in comparison to a typical Windows/Linux/BSD PC. Why the heck would anyone buy a Mac and then install a Linux on it? Just doesn't make sense.

Wrong on all counts. First, some Mac hardware is pretty good value, in particular the 12" notebooks. Most PC notebooks at a similar price point are larger and have lower build quality.

Second, you have to pay for a new version of OS X every year. And if you don't upgrade, you lose out on the latest development tools. Linux is a big win in this respect.

Third, OS X software isn't all that, and I find the UI quite irritating. Overall, I'm much happier running Linux on my Powerbook.

Re:Inaccurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728107)

We had a bunch of G4s sitting in our office taking up space. There are some employees who love mac, but once they leave those machines just become door blocks, and end up leaving a trail of door-blocks. 2nd best use of those machines aside from being the door-block was to make them into a linux dev box cluster. =]

Re:Inaccurate (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728117)

I've actually considered doing exactly this, with a powerbook. But then I remembered the insane 1 button mouse thing on Apple laptops, and realized that I was freaking retarded.

I rather like the hardware in Apple computers. The hardware is quite well coordinated, and works together nicely, as it's non-upgradeable for the most part. This just plain sucks for a desktop, but it's nice in a laptop. That makes it appealing to create a Linux laptop, in that you know everything is going to work, and it's going to work nicely.

And the Mac UI is just plain shit IMO. It's overly flashy, resource hungry, and completely lacks functionality. I will personally NEVER understand why anyone would ever want a dock. A cascading menu (ala Gnome or KDE) is much more compact, and quicker to use.

Re:Inaccurate (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728157)

Yes, I like the hardware, too. My point was that even though it is well coordinated and works together nicely, it is still standard, off-the-shelf stuff inside.

I like the Mac UI. I have Mac at work and the GUI -- and the way how, in contrast to Windows and Linux, things just worked -- got me interested in buying a Mac laptop in the first place. It's clean, intuitive and yes, IMO it looks great too.

Typical conversation (2, Funny)

PMOnoTo (854402) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727968)

User: What do I need antivirus software for?
Technical support: How many mouse buttons do you have?
User: Ummm.. I can only see one
Technical support: You don't need it then

No more mysteries: Apple's G5 versus x86, Mac OS X (-1, Offtopic)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12727975)

Read AnandTech's article here [nomoremysteries] .

The article explains a lot, but fails in testing
Yellow Dog Lingux (for ppc).

Re:No more mysteries: Apple's G5 versus x86, Mac O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728003)

linky linky doesnt work

Working link (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728039)

Working link [anandtech.com] ...

As usual (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12727982)

Apple is not as slow/uncommon/expensive/... as the numbers would make you believe. It still has the most annoying users, who just don't get that we don't care. All else equal, I'd still not buy a Mac, simply because I fear I would become a typical Mac user and start evangelizing and annoying the hell out of my friends.

Re:As usual (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728058)

All else equal, I'd still not buy a Mac, simply because I fear I would become a typical Mac user and start evangelizing and annoying the hell out of my friends.

Yes, and you might then be be gay too. [macbuds.com]

Alternate story submission (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728027)

The train leaves the depot and travels east at 50 mph and has two mac users on it and a linux user in the caboose. Another train leaves another depot heading west on the same track at 60 mph with 5 windows users. Which computer user has the virus, and who survives after the crash??

Check the facts again (1, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728033)

Just because a machine has never been infected by a virus or other malicious software is absolutely NO indication of what OS its running.

I've had a PC of one brand or another since they first came out. And every one of my machines has run versions of Windows the majority of the time. I've had the machine I'm typing this from for three years. It runs Windows XP and has since the day I purchased it.

In 20+ years of PC use I have never been infected by malicious software of any kind. Ever.

Whether or not you've been infected is determined more by the component between your ears and less by your choice of operating system.

Re:Check the facts again (2, Funny)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728091)

yeah you're right. remember MSBlaster? if every one of those people infected by that had used a Mac instead, they'd still have been infected. cos they're all stupid. and viruses can tell stupid users from clever ones. cos they watch you through the monitor. I swear these WINE guys working on emulation are wasting their time. just call your program a 'virus' and it'll work on any platform. so long as the users are stupid enough. I suppose they need to keep working on a solution for us clever people though don't they davmoo? ah well...

Re:Check the facts again (1)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728149)

If every one of those people infected had updated their Windows in a timely fashion they wouldn't have been infected. Could the MSBlaster virus infect Macs? No, of course not. But another virus could be created just as easily to take advantage of the stupidty of users on the Mac, and that was his point. Virsues are preventable on all operating systems and viruses are feasible on all operating systems.

Re:Check the facts again (1)

filthy-raj (581774) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728104)

Thank-you.

This is a point I have made in discussions with less technical people who ask me questions. I always say it's a matter of possessing vigilance... without the tin-foil hat!

I develop on *BSD OSes - not surprisingly, as with say GNU/Linux or Plan9 or BeOS - no nefarious breaches of integrity, viruses, malware. I also have an old laptop that runs Win2k. I don't get any of that evil shit either. It is a matter of vigilance. Admittedly (for me at least) it is now possible in large part thanks to open source apps on Win32 platforms. I don't use Internet Exploder... Firefox or Opera instead. I don't use Outbreak Express - with its plagues of macro expansion exploits... Thunderbird instead.

So, that's how choice of apps might help. But where your brain (as parent mentions) is crucial is in monitoring your own potentially dangerous activities - something dumbed down and indifferent (frustrated, maybe?) 'lusers' of course might not exercise caution with. For example, it is dangerous to download pr0n from Eastern Europe (or Russia, Ukraine, China etc.), you don't communicate with your bank through your email client *giggles* and it helps to keep up with news regarding known exploits and potential attackers' methods. This last point however is where most 'lusers' aren't going to adhere to this subset of the common sense precepts.

vigilance!

Thanks again parent. I agree with you entirely.

Raj

16%? that seems a bit high .. (4, Informative)

paranoidgeek (840730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728036)

My web site's stats are 1-3% MacOS ( all version ). Even that figure is blown up a bit since a couple of webmaster's use Macs.

Anyway full stats :

Windows XP 495 60.37%
Windows 98 117 14.27%
Windows 2000 85 10.37%
Windows ME 41 5.00%
Other 22 2.68%
Linux 21 2.56%
MacOS X 13 1.59%
Windows 95 11 1.34%
MacOS PPC 6 0.73%
Windows NT 4 0.49%
Windows 2003 4 0.49%
Windows 1 0.12%
Total 820

Somebody needs to set up Bill the Bukkake. (0, Troll)

putko (753330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728042)

Last week it was Earthlink subsidizing Linux boxes. This week its that 16% of all computers out there are really Macs.

Hopefully next month it is that Google has made some M$ cash cow redundant (and universally available with any browser).

If only Apple would announce free (as in beer) software for the developing world (or x86s), and throw another monkeywrench into Billy's plans.

WTF!! (2, Funny)

mangus_angus (873781) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728048)

Symantec lied to me?!!!

New Math? (1)

texwtf (558874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728053)

If two people replace computers, one 2x as often
as the other, the ratio is 2:1, not 3:1. You
therefore have market shares of 66.7% and 33.3%.

Re:New Math? (2, Interesting)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728123)

That was my initial reaction, until I realized it said "changed 2x" so he had one and then bought another and yet another, making three total. It just goes to show that Macs are really a lot cheaper than Wintels when you figure in the "This computer is too slow, I need a new one" syndrome that Wintel users run into after their 50th malware infection. ;-)

And I'm not making that up as much as I want to, almost every week a customer wants to buy a new box and when I ask them why it turns out their existing one is so infected as to be unusable. Most of the time, I clean them up, give them Firefox / AdAware / AVG and pocket a lot more profit than if I had simply sold him a new whitebox.

You actually worry? (1, Flamebait)

The Angry Artist (877090) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728064)

In the WinTel world, could you do this? Or maybe you should ask, 'Do I really want all of that paranoia to go away? Do I really want to spend more time enjoying whatever the hell I do on my 'puter, or maybe I should continue wasting hours every week on security crap that shouldn't be a problem in the first place? Hey. It's just a question.

How is this Winn Schwartau guy a security expert? I have no idea what he's doing, but I barely worry about security on my Windows machine. I probably spend a few minutes at the most each month checking my security with one or two programs.

The key to avoiding viruses and spyware is intelligence. You have to be intelligent enough to realize that you shouldn't use Internet Explorer. Switch to Firefox. That's it. Firefox does an excellent job of protecting the user. Everything you do after that is optional. Once you use Firefox to browse the Internet, you can reasonably expect, provided you don't click every suspicious link to see on Google, no viruses on your machine -- which is coincidentally the number of viruses I have experienced in the last two years.

Can I be called a security expert now?

Re:You actually worry? (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728147)

Well, no, that ISN'T it and if you believe it is you're just as naive as the guy you're bitching about.

Virus are not related to OS's SO MUCH (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728069)

16 percent of all computer users are not affected by viruses because they use Macs

100% of my PC is not affected by viruses because... the main user is not someone who clicks on just about anything that reaches his mailbox and visits pr0n sites with MSIE!
Seriously, I might send a Linux user a nice shell script that wipes his home folder; if he's an idiot and chmods it in order to run it and *does* run it and loses all of his files, does that make Linux less secure? Or does that make such user an idiot?
Maybe we should stop blaming or praising OS's so much and concentrate on the user base from time to time. Now, of course the typical Linux user will be savvy enough not to destroy his machine, while I'm not so sure about the typical Windows user. But this just shows that smarter people choose smarter OS's, just like smarter people catch fewer viruses than not so smart ones. See the pattern? The "virus catching" is certainly linked to the "OS choosing", but you have to take the third variable into account: the "user cluelessness".
So why don't we stop correlating a variance in "virus catching" to a variance in "OS choosing" and attributing the consequences to the technicalities of the chosen OS? The user plays a far more important role IMHO.

Re:Virus are not related to OS's SO MUCH (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728134)

There have been many viruses which don't rely on the user doing anything out of the ordinary in order to get infected, are users really stupid for believing when ms tells them it's safe to browse sites with msie?
Also your point about sending a shellscript to a linux user, you point out that the user has to take extra steps before he can do anything stupid, that's a positive point in favour of the os, in that it makes it harder for people to do stupid things.. And you can only trash his homedir, not the whole machine.. So next time he boots up and logs in, he's back to defaults which is a far cry from a system that won't boot atall.

I can't think about this right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728076)

I'm too worried about the Intel chips. This is surely one of the signs of the apocolypse. I must consult my pineal gland for action. Eris says that this whole thing is just a joke, Apple isn't moving to Intel chips, but she's a bit gunshy since her last joke was taken much too seriously. She just wanted to make an OS that would show the world that they are using crap, so she influenced the crappiest OS ever built, and lo and behold, it became the most popular.

Hail Eris!

So its not news.. but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728077)

The article is written in the evangelistic fashion mac users are often accused of displaying, and furthermore macs have viruses and backdoors like any other complex system.

%16.. thats no surprise .. and certainly not news. But its a big slice of the IT pie you have to admit, and anyone who has used OS X here will understand exactly what the author is saying.

OS X works, and it works really, really well. Deal with it.

BOINC says it's much lower. (4, Interesting)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728079)

It's impossible to get the one true metric for this. But the statistics of the BOINC project [berkeley.edu] (formerly SETI@home, now includes other projects as well) give another, perhaps more reasonable data point. [boincstats.com]

They have

  • Windows -- 89.5%
  • Linux -- 7.8%
  • Darwin -- 2.3%
  • Other -- 0.4%

Now, this data is obviously skewed with respect to the total distribution, since the people who run something like SETI@home are probably more technologically inclined than the average computer user. This would mean that the percentage of non-Windows OSes is higher in this sample. On the other hand, the software for BOINC (SETI@home) is still somewhat Windows-centric, which would in turn increase the Windows share in the sample.

An interesting data point, nonetheless.

no data, nothing (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728094)

The 16% is some figure that someone just uttered, without any evidence or methodology or even source behind it. Without that, it's impossible to determine even what it means, let alone whether it is valid.

Whatever it is, it can't refer to Apple's actual installed based.

Apple market share is about 3% and web statistics generally put Apple users at around 2%. Those figures are consistent, assuming that Macs and PCs are used for about the same amount of time on average and given that people tend to spend more on their Macs.

Even if you make other assumptions, having a market share of 3% and an installed based of 16% is only plausible if the company is in steep decline; Apple may have problems, but they are not in that much trouble yet.

playing with numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728095)

if the definition of "installed base" is someone with a computer who has ___ OS installed, then you could probably also say that windows has near 100% installed base - who doesn't have at least 1 windows computer?

I dunno.... (1, Insightful)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728099)

So far only "market-share" statistics are commonly published for the public and do not convey install base. (If for example 2 people are using computers and one replaces his 2x in a 3 year period and the other only does once, market-share dynamics dictate that one demographic has 75% market share while the other has only 25% -- even though install base is still 50/50.)"

I think you would have to be some sort of idiot to think that this applies to PCs vs Macs. I mean, honestly. WTF? Article writer is implying that Mac users don't buy new PCs as much as PC users, and the marketshare must be close?

I work for an ISP. I get maybe 2 or 3 calls from Mac people in a 5 day week. I handle more than 40 calls in a day. And in my professional opinion, you have to be completely retarded to think that PC/Mac usage is anywhere even in the same ballpark to 50/50.

As well, I constantly hear Mac zealots all excited about their new shiny G5 in some overly pretentious colour like magenta or something and how well it interfaces with their iPod. Most PC people I know are more interested in buying a $600 video card for their 5 year old PC.

Re:I dunno.... (4, Insightful)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728144)

I work for an ISP. I get maybe 2 or 3 calls from Mac people in a 5 day week. I handle more than 40 calls in a day. And in my professional opinion, you have to be completely retarded to think that PC/Mac usage is anywhere even in the same ballpark to 50/50.

While I agree it's nowhere near 50/50, your anecdotal evidence makes a few assumptions. The biggest assumptions it makes would be that macs break down at the same rate PCs do and that mac users require the same amount of technical support PC users do.

Speaking as a mac user I've got to say 16% sounds high, but your 1.5% sounds quite low.

Let me see if I can follow this. (4, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728109)

Given the data points:

- The vast majority of studies estimate the installed base of the macintosh at somewhere around three to five percent.
- One study estimates it at sixteen percent.

The conclusion is:

- The studies estimating at three to five percent must have been doing something wrong

D...id I miss something here?

How about all the re-installed X86 PC's (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728111)

with linux, I think they will eat up a lot of this 16%. SOme max will be reinstalled with linux too, reducing their number further.
I think sales numbers do express a good way to represent what is running. If only 2% of sold systems is from Apple, then their total market share is 2% not 16%. The other (wintel) systems are being moved down the chain too the same way as the Apple systems. So if there is any case to be made (like in detection of less virusprone systems), is that more and more systems are virus safe because of Linux & BSD.

Research with flaws is always easier than research without flaws.

As usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12728112)

Apple is not as slow/uncommon/expensive/... as the numbers would make you believe. It still has the most annoying users, who just don't get that we don't care. All else equal, I'd still not buy a Mac, simply because I fear I would become a typical Mac user and start evangelizing and annoying the hell out of my friends.

Okay, the submission summary is odd (3, Informative)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728126)

The article makes a number of points, and those interested could RTFA - yeah right. The points it makes are taken from other articles.

One of them is AT&T Natural Voices coming soon for Apple Mac OS X [macdailynews.com]

"When you consider the dynamic growth of Apple products and the high quality of user interface that Apple users expect, it seemed very compelling to make this great technology available to the Apple development community as well."

[...] According to US News and World Report, Macintosh owners buy 30% more software than their Windows counterparts. Further, Macintosh software comprises over 18% of all software sold, according to the Software and Information Industry Association. In addition, the Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16 percent of computer users are on Macs.

So cheer up, they only count people buying software, thus most Linux users don't show up here ;-)

Warez and virus. (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728127)

I would be interested in the statistics of user's OS visiting WAREZ sites. We know that these sites are where most of the Spyware and popups come from.
Let's face it, if you downloaded some hot new software for your MAC OX and it requested the ADMIN password to complete installation - hey presto, carte blance to put anything onto your MAC.

users? (1)

photonic (584757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12728130)

It is always said that there are no viruses on the Mac because it is a better/safer OS. But couldn't this be caused by the type of user alone? I believe there is a very high correlation between buying an Apple and being computer-savvy (or just weird?). Getting infected by a virus usually means some stupid user action (opening an attachment) or not having your patches up to date, both of which are influenced by computer knowledge. This combined with the fact that writers of malware will probably target the biggest install base might be able to explain the different infection rates even with equal number of bugs/level of security. Same story for Linux probably.
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