Analysis: CEO of Symantec Recommends Macs

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May
16

By: switchtoamac at: 1:57 PM on May 16, 2006 | Comments (0)

Most Windows users are familiar with Symantec in some shape or form.  Symantec sells the popular Norton line of products that includes Norton AntiVirus, Norton Personal Firewall, and Norton Internet Security.  Windows users typically install these or similar programs to protect their computers from the over 114,000 viruses, trojans, spyware, and malware.

In a somewhat surprise move, Symantec's CEO John Thompson, recommended that people use Macs instead of PCs.  The following is taken from the CNet article:

"We think more people ought to buy them," Thompson said of Apple's Macintosh computers, in response to a question from the audience at the Future in Review conference on Monday. The "target-rich" environment created by Windows vulnerabilities means that virus writers and hackers have set their sights on Windows PCs, he said."


I find Thompson's statement to be quite surprising as it comes from a CEO whose company earns a significant percentage of its revenues and profits from the sale of the above mentioned security products.  Why would he make such a statement?

  • Have Thompson and other executives at Symantec realized that keeping up with the virus writers is just too difficult?
  • Is it a strike at Microsoft’s attempt to enter the Windows security software vertical?
  • Is a vote of confidence in the OS X security implementation?
I think that the answer is a combination of the three questions.  Thompson's recommendation that people use Macs strikes at the heart of the OS X versus Windows security debate.  I find the news to be quite compelling as it comes at a time when a growing number of users are voicing their dissatisfaction with the security problems plaguing Windows.  The mere fact that the CEO of Symantec has recommended that people use Macs should open the eyes of those who are considering the switch.

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