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"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town."

The battle between Microsoft and Apple in the computing market has raged on for decades. While Microsoft has a commanding lead in the operating system market with Windows, Apple isn't exactly backing down with OS X -- in fact, the Cupertino-based company continues to grab market share and a large portion of the $1,000+ computing market.

When Windows and OS X users get into arguments on the web, Windows users often point to OS X's tiny market share while OS X users point to how vulnerable Windows operating systems have been in the past to exploits. However, according to security guru Charlie Miller, OS X users should subscribe to the idea that "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".

Miller claims to have found no less than 20 zero-day exploits within OS X. Miller will present the exploits at CanSecWest next week in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Miller told Heise Security, "Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town."

"They sell lots of computers and nobody [shies away from] Apple computers because of a perceived lack of security," Miller added. "So in their minds, they don't have a security problem until it affects their bottom line, which hasn't been the case, yet"

OS X has made the news plenty of times over the past year for security holes. Last June, Apple finally fixed a Java exploit which went unpatched for nearly a year. In late August, Apple shipped Snow Leopard with a version of Flash that was susceptible to outside attacks.

Miller also took Apple to task last year saying that security protections in OS X weren't quite up to par with Windows 7. He noted, "It's harder to write exploits for Windows than the Mac, but all you see are Windows exploits. That's because if [the hacker] can hit 90% of the machines out there, that's all he's gonna do. It's not worth him nearly doubling his work just to get that last 10%."



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RE: $1000+ Computers
By HotFoot on 3/19/2010 11:30:38 AM , Rating: 3
Fair enough, but my assertion is that more techies, like readers on these pages, are inclined to invest more in their computers. My thought is that most of the DIY crowd are after a bargain, but are also enthusiasts.

For the average joe-blow, buying a $600 machine from an OEM can make a lot of sense because they are either not comfortable with assembling the computer, or put value in a full-service warranty in case something goes wrong and they don't know how to fix it. In this case, I believe the majority of these folks aren't enthusiasts, and of that crowd, most just want something that works and aren't buying the high-performance parts.

I'd build a sub-$1000 machine for a HTPC or if a friend asked me to build them an econo PC. But the majority of computers I've built myself over the years have been worth well north of that value.


RE: $1000+ Computers
By Pirks on 3/19/2010 12:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd build a sub-$1000 machine for a HTPC or if a friend asked me to build them an econo PC. But the majority of computers I've built myself over the years have been worth well north of that value.
I'm observing exact opposite on my side, all the builds I've done for friends and family were different variations of the same concept - cheapo mATX AMD 7xxG mobo, cheapo low power silent Sempron, some slim/tiny case with 1 HDD and 1 DVD-RW inside and that's it. Cheap, small, fast, light and quiet. All five builds I've done in past two years are well under $500. Go figure. People don't need expensive machines anymore for BASIC tasks. $500 or even $400 is enough, if not less.

It's hard to say who's right here tho, there's no statistics to prove that DIY is done mostly for low price combined with high quality, or is it done for pure high performance combined with somewhat low price. I tend to think high performance is not needed anymore, based on the observations how people among my family and friends use computers these days. I'm not gonna argue with you tho 'cause this is my personal experience and I don't have any solid statistical/scientific proof supporting my point.


RE: $1000+ Computers
By Luticus on 3/22/2010 8:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
Just want to say that I completely agree with you here. Just to contribute my numbers to the statistics we seem to be gathering, all 10 (including 2 servers) of my machines are DIY and they are all 1000+ systems; however, I did just order an HTPC with BluRay that costs $350 grated I already had a HDD and bluetooth keyboard for it. So I think from my experience and what I've seen of my friends/family/colleagues that the equation plays out on both the high and low ends of the spectrum.

Actually the only numbers I'd say we could probably rely on are, for the most part, laptops as I don't think many of those are DIY yet. In fact all 3 of my laptops are HP, and ones on Linux. :-)


RE: $1000+ Computers
By Solandri on 3/19/2010 1:07:31 PM , Rating: 3
Cost of the computer is the wrong number to look at, I think. Over time, enthusiasts on average spend more money on computers per year. I buy cheap $600 computers, but I get a new computer every 1.5 years. Some of my luddite friends will buy a $1200 computer, but they'll still be using it 5 years later.


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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