Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Macs Vulnerable to Malware? Say It Ain't So!

IT security firm Sophos this week let the cat out of the bag, spilled the beans, and otherwise debunked the widely treasured myth that Macs are invulnerable to malware in its Sophos Security Threat Report 2008 (registration required); released Tuesday. The report said that, among other things, "in 2007 [organized] criminal gangs for the first time arrived at Apple's doorstep with the intention of stealing money." Proof, the firm said, that "hackers are extending their efforts beyond Windows."

Of course, the Mac platform has never been invulnerable to malware of any sort, though since the advent of Mac OS X such malicious code had generally been confined to labs in which researchers played out "what if" scenarios that never came to fruition. Serious crimeware developers simply hadn't bothered with the Mac until late, perhaps for the same reason game developers left the platform alone for so long: The audience was too limited to be worth the effort.


Every year, I hear how Microsoft is under siege, that it just can't compete with fresh new technologies. The Network Computer promoted by Sun and Oracle was going to kill Windows (instead, Windows through Citrix is the OS that drives today's thin clients). Linux was going
take over because it's free (instead, Microsoft decided to integrate with Linux while dramatically improving its own server OS).

And, most recently, Google was to lay waste to every aspect of Microsoft's business (in reality, Microsoft has matched Google app for app so far, despite what inexperienced journalists would have you believe).

Is all this finally catching up with Redmond? Sure. Second quarter earnings only increased some 80 percent compared to the previous year's quarter! The run rate of earnings (not revenue) is almost $20 billion. That's oil company territory.

All areas of Microsoft's business grew. Now, can't we do something about that stock price?