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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: Reader1!!!
By retrospooty on 3/19/2010 3:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
I was not trying to invalidate you, just stating that Apple's PC's are not as profitable as you might think. When it was just PC's they nearly went out of business altogether.

Revenue is not profit. Revenue is simply money taken in. It doesn't count materials, labor , logistics, warranty, support, or R&D.

RE: Reader1!!!
By someguy123 on 3/19/2010 7:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say they spend too large of an amount on R&D considering they basically just incrementally update their OS every so often with slight tweaks and their platform is closed. The low market share also allows them to get away with having vulnerabilities without having to put extra resources into fixing them quickly, if at all.

Their handhelds are clearly more profitable, but their PC profit is probably high especially considering their obscene premium in price. Apple nearly went out of business back then because their older designs didn't manage to attract the hipster crowd as well as they do now, and because they didn't have the ipod to spread brand recognition.

RE: Reader1!!!
By Focher on 3/20/2010 6:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
The margin on Macs is quite high. There are plenty of analysts that do cost breakdowns of every Apple product, and the Mac line holds its own in margin compared to Apple's other products.

RE: Reader1!!!
By SPOOFE on 3/20/2010 4:19:48 PM , Rating: 2
When it was just PC's they nearly went out of business altogether.

Oh, come on. Your comment is technically true but not very descriptive of the situation; Apple managed their turnaround (the return of Jobs, his "$1 a year" token salary, etc.) just based on their computers and a hefty repolishing of the company image. The iPod/iTunes dominance came after their fortunes were already rebounding.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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