Monthly Archives: October 2007

Typical Mac nonsense

A Mac fanboy writes:

A Mac user since 2000, upgrading to each new version of Mac OS X:

1. $300 in operating system updates, or nearly $400 if purchased at full retail.

2. Three major new releases that significantly improved performance of the same hardware and introduced new apps.

3. Thirty one regular minor updates with bug fixes and new features, in addition to many security updates.

4. No antivirus needed

5. No spyware cleaning needed

6. Total cost of maintaining Mac OS X software: about $50 a year, or around $350 since 2000. (Reports of “$750” were a mix of Truthiness and bad math.)

A Professional Windows user since 2000, upgrading at the one opportunity available:

1. $200 upgrade to XP Professional, or $300 for a new retail version.

2. One major new release that improved reliability but not the performance of old hardware.

3. Two minor service pack updates focused on bugs and security features, and around fifty security patches since SP2.

4. Seven years of AntiVirus 2000 $50, plus $30 for six annual updates = $230

5. Spyware and security cleaning by Geek Squad: a $200 annual servicing over seven years = $1400

6. Total cost of maintaining Windows software: over $250 a year, or more than $1800 since 2000.

Can you spot the mistake? There are two of them: the notion that an antivirus software is needed for Windows and that there need to be some sort of annual Geek Squad maintenance. The notion that an annual cleanup is required is misleading to the point of utter dishonesty. For most people, I would in fact suggest an antivirus but not Geek Squad servicing. However, even an antivirus is not necessary. I’ve used Windows for ages without it. I got virii twice and both times the threat was quickly and easily contained by using free tools provided by Microsoft. If Mac users need to distort reality to this point to justify their choice what does it say about the soundness of their choice?

Oh, and 10 years of Linux: $0.