Security Concerns = More Macs

Just about every time I’ve hired someone in the past, I’ve always let them choose their hardware and software. If they want a Mac, they get a Mac. If they want a PC, they get a PC. I hated the fact that I was once forced to get a PC (Windows 3.1 at the time) instead of a Mac. It was a decision based on price. But why pay me a premium to work 40 hours a week only to cripple my work output by forcing me to use a system that I felt wasn’t the best for how I work?
But I realized recently that my “get them what they want” policy isn’t valid any more. You see, there is a cost to having a PC that goes beyond the sticker price: virus and malware protection. If I got an employee a PC, I’d need to spend some time keeping up with its security. Since I would hire creative types, not really system engineer types, then this maintenance would be my responsibility. So I would need to expend real effort for every PC user to make sure our network wasn’t compromised.
Now, let’s forget for a second that this is more likely to happen to a PC. We all know it is. But even if PCs and Macs were equally endangered by viruses, it would still mean that I would need to maintain two separate types of systems. More work for me. So it is easier to just standardize on one system: Macs. We’re mostly Macs now, anyway.
So if I hired more people right now, I’d give them iMac G5s. Done. Perhaps if one convinced me that they would be capable and willing to maintain their own security on their own machine, I would let them get a Windows PC. But the default option would be a Mac.
Now, that being said, I do have a PC. It is my test machine for the Windows platform. (OK, and I use it to play games like Half-Life and Doom 3.) But since it is not a development machine, I don’t worry about it so much. If it became infected, I could just wipe the hard drive and start over. I wouldn’t even loose any work time as I’d be busy working on my Mac while re-installing and updating Windows on the PC.
I’d also have to admit that another option would be to standardize on Windows. Just become an expert at Windows security and implement it across your whole network. If I did that, I’d probably use a service like Aunty Spam’s Real Time Security Alerts to keep up to date with all the issues. Windows security is a field where you have to constantly keep up with the latest info.

Posted on July 21, 2005 at 8:23 am by site admin · Permalink
In: General