Is it really this bad for Windows users

An article on Wired about the dangers faced by the owners of new computers at Christmas paints a depressing picture of life for Windows users, who face a seemingly endless assault from Viruses, Adware, Spyware and other Malware.

The article ends with a depressing quote from Tony Ross, an analyst at security firm Sophos:

“At some point, people who receive them for Christmas often ask, ‘Is this computer a gift or a curse?'” Ross said.

How can the situation have become so bad for Windows users? And why are people continuing to invest money in an operating system that requires so much maintenance and extra protection from Third Party software? I know I’ve banged on about this in the past, but I continue to be bemused by it. You wouldn’t spend money on a new car that required almost daily servicing to keep it running, or expense new parts fitted to stop it breaking as soon as you use it on the road.

People need to learn that there are alternatives to Windows. It’s time that retailers started to accept the fact that alternatives actually exist by offering, and even encouraging people to consider, alternative operating systems. I’m not just talking about Apple and OS X (though for the novice user it seems like the best solution). Linux is making huge strides in creating a more user friendly and easy to use environment, with the advantage that it runs on less expensive hardware than Apple machines (although the “Apple Computers are too expensive” argument breaks down easily when you start looking at value for money rather than just cost).

PC World offer Apple machines for sale, but in a grudging way, with just a few badly set up iMacs and Powerbooks on display in my nearest store. There are no staff willing (or able?) to offer advice or information, and no effort made to emphasise the ease of use and security benefits of Mac OS X.

As even the most casual visitor to this site will know, I am a passionate advocate of Apple and the Mac OS. I run my G4 all day, every day, with NO viruses, NO malware, and NO security issues in the 8 years that I’ve owned a Mac. Just before Christmas, I decided to install and run the latest version of Virex, since it comes free with my .Mac membership. After nearly 6 hours scanning my entire system (nearly 60Gb of files in total), it found (as expected) absolutely no problems.

So, if you are tired of constantly battling to keep your system running and up to date with the lastest anti-virus software, consider Switching. You won’t regret it it, and you will soon be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

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