Warning! Caution! Danger! MAJOR geek posting about computer viruses!

Computer viruses. If you’re running a Windows computer, the odds are slightly more than 9 in 10 that your machine, right now, is infected with at least one virus. If you’re not behind a firewall and you’re on broadband, odds are good that when you leave your computer at night, spammers take control of your computer and use it to send spam, and Russian mafia roots around in it at will.

Microsoft would have us believe that there is nothing wrong with Windows, that there are many Windows viruses and zero Mac viruses because more people use Windows than Macs and virus writers go for the most popular platform, and that there are just as many known Mac security flaws as Windows security flaws.

This argument breaks down for a number of reasons. it’s commercially useful to Microsoft, of course; if people actually knew how badly and terminally insecure Windows really is, fewer people would use it, so it is very important to Microsoft’s bottom line that people accept the standard “nothing wrong here, it’s just because Windows is so popular” myth.

For starters, the number of “Windows computers” targeted by a particular virus is not necessarily higher than the number of Macs. People make the mistake of thinking all “Windows computers” are all running the same operating system–an operating system called Microsoft Windows.

Problem is, there is not an operating system called Microsoft Windows.