John Gruber’s “Daring Fireball” essays invariably get widely circulated around the Mac web, and for good reason; his latest is no exception. In it, he argues that the reason why there isn’t any spyware, malware, and other assorted crapware on the Mac is because Mac users have absolutely no tolerance for it.
Especially interesting — startling, actually, because it’s so clever — is the analogy he makes to urban decay:
My answer to question posed earlier — why are Windows users besieged with security exploits, while Mac users suffer none? — is that Windows is like a bad neighborhood, strewn with litter, mysterious odors, panhandlers, and untold dozens of petty annoyances. Many Windows users are simply resigned to the fact that their computers contain software that is not under their control. And if they’ll tolerate an annoying application that badgers them with pop-up ads, well, why not a spyware virus that logs every key you type, then sends them back to the
The Mac is like a good neighborhood, where the streets are clean and the crime rate low. You don’t need bars on your windows in a good neighborhood; you don’t need anti-virus software on the Mac.
Which doesn’t do his argument justice, because doing it justice would require a hella long quote. Worth reading in full.