Thursday, November 11, 2004 - Guarding Cyberspace From Worms, Viruses, Bugs - Guarding Cyberspace From Worms, Viruses, Bugs: "WSJ: Why do Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintoshes seem impervious to virus creators?
Mr. Thompson: Why bother? It's 2% of the market. Talk about a target-rich environment: with Microsoft there are on average 48 new vulnerabilities every week. Why do I need to putz around with Mac? Linux -- faster-growing, maybe more interesting than Mac. IPod -- maybe interesting. Cellphones -- maybe interesting. Mac? That's old stuff.
WSJ: Some of the most effective spyware-protection software is free. Is that a threat to your business?
Mr. Thompson: An organization that derives no revenue from a product and therefore has no visible means of support, how are they going to support you as the threat environment changes? It may very well be that the technology they have today is very effective today. The question is, how effective will it be tomorrow? We spend 4% to 15% of revenues on R&D. We'll generate $2.4 billion in revenue this year. We've got a visible means of support for customers as opposed to things that are free that you don't know where the support's going to come from.
WSJ: You have a good business plugging the holes in Microsoft's software. What happens to your business if Microsoft cleans up its act?
Mr. Thompson: People don't just throw away and discard the old infrastructure technologies that they have deployed. Heck, there's Windows 3.1 [a program released in 1992] in the world today. And so even if Longhorn [the next version of Windows] hits the marketplace in 2006 or 2007 and it is the greatest thing and most secure operating system in the world, we'll still have a healthy business for a long, long time to come."
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