Mac Users Miss All the Security Fun

Opinion: There is some question about whether the switch to Intel hardware will put Macs in harm's way, but in the meantime users can leave the headaches to the Windows crowd.

Its that time of year when the smell of cooking turkey and mince pie is once again wafting through the house as the family gathers round the hearth. This can only mean one thing to a Machead: its time to start speculating about Macworld SF in January.

This is not just speculation for speculations sake; there are important buying decisions to be made in the upcoming OfficialCommercialOverspendingSeason. Buy now or buy after the Expo is the most pressing of these, and probably the most far-reaching in scope.

Sure, everyone knows that new Macs are going to be on Intel hardware, but what does that change mean to an average Mac user? Burton Cohen of TBI Computer (an Apple reseller in Westport, Conn.) thinks it may not mean that much.

"Most people dont realize how much was changed in the upgrade from OS X 10.3 to 10.4," Cohen says. "There was a complete rewrite of the underlying code such that Apple now does all the heavy lifting to make the program run on whatever chip is inside the Mac. If you are using XCode (Apples development system), you can change your program to run on Intel hardware with very little fuss. Users dont care about whatever the underlying hardware is; all they know is that they will be running OS X just like they have been doing."

This, then, is the underappreciated success of OS X: It has made security a non-issue for users. In all the discussions and rumor mongering that is going on about the upcoming hardware changes, there has been absolutely no concern voiced by anyone Ive encountered about the security implications of such a migration. Users seemingly have a complete faith that Apple and OS X will just take care of it for them.

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