Yes, there are a lot of good reasons to buy a Mac
Perhaps the biggest grumble from my readers over the years has been that I haven't spent enough time talking about the Mac.
Well, given my recent comments about the hassles of upgrading to Vista, Microsoft's new operating system, it's high time that we look closely at the Mac.
Let's start by looking at a typical reader's question: Mary from Kapahulu writes: "I'm in a quandary. I'm not certain whether I should upgrade my old system to Vista, simply buy a new PC or maybe take the giant leap buy an Apple."
Mary goes on to say that she is an experienced user who has a home office and uses her machine primarily for business and surfing the net. She is not a gamer, nor does she download a lot of music or movies. She's comfortable learning new technology and she also understands (but is not sure why) Mac's don't seem to be as vulnerable to hackers.
I think her situation exemplifies the state of affairs for many users who are considering moving over to the Mac.
I'd start off by agreeing with Mary that Mac users don't experience the number hack attacks that PCs are sometimes experience. In fact, the "security issue" is the one most often brought up by Mac enthusiasts. Whether the Mac OS X (the Apple operating system) has been less prone to attack because it is less popular, or because of its architecture, is a question I can't really answer. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.
When you think about why hackers want to exploit PCs, the answer probably is, as the bank robber Willie Sutton put it, "Because that's where the money is." When you figure that most attacks on computers are done for financial reward, Windows machines are the logical place to go.
This doesn't mean Macs are impervious to attack. It just seems that Windows security lapses have been much more effectively exploited by the bad guys--and that seems to explain why PCs are the target of choice. The Microsoft people tell us that security fixes in Vista and Internet Explorer 7 will eliminate hacker problems, but we'll see.
Thus to answer the question of those who are thinking about crossing over to the Mac side, I think it's safe to say that if you're really concerned about security, the odds are in your favor if you buy a Mac.
There are a number of other reasons why the Mac makes sense.
» More user friendly;
» Terrific multimedia software that comes standard with the machine;
» Fewer worries about viruses or other "malware";
» They run the most common software available.
» Mac's new Intel chips can also run Windows programs.
There are a slew of other good reasons why it makes sense to own a Mac, and you can find them all here: www.apple.com/getamac.
That said, Macs are a bit pricier, and if you're limited by budget and don't want to hassle learning the nuances of a new system, it may just be easier to stick with the rest of the planet and run the dinosaur we all love to hate -- our PCs!
is general manager of digital phone at Oceanic Time Warner Cable. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org