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Didn't Apple used to claim that Macs didn't get viruses? I can't remember. (This would be at least several years ago, when Mac malware was still fully theoretical.) It's possible they never stated it directly, and the phrase was spread by fans.

To be fair, their slogan is currently "Macs don't get PC viruses" [1]. Which is true. Although, devilishly close enough to blur the two in somebody's mind.

[1] http://www.apple.com/why-mac/better-os/

Whoa, no kidding. The majority of people are not going to stop on those two letters and consciously differentiate "virus" from "PC virus."

"A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers."

Pretty clear.

It's not at all clear. It's deliberately ambiguous. If they wanted it to be clear they would have said "Macs are only susceptible to a fraction of the number of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers."

Clear? One possible interpretation of just that statement alone could easily give the impression that viruses in general are therefore not an issue for Macs.

There are two possible ways to interpret this:

1. "A Mac is susceptible to viruses. But it is not susceptible to viruses plaguing Windows-based computers."

2. "A Mac isn’t susceptible to viruses, whereas a Windows-based computer is susceptible to thousands of viruses."

The fact that you still get viruses, but they just don't happen to be the same viruses, isn't worth stating. So as a customer, it is very unlikely that I would infer the former (Meaning 1) from the statement. Yet it is what is meant.

I would personally call this misleading (and dangerously close to lying).

No, it's not clear. It implies that the Mac can't get any viruses.

No. If they didn't qualify it with "PC" it would have that implication. By qualifying it, they make it unambiguous.

They're implying that only PCs have viruses.

No, they are stating that Macs are not susceptible to PC viruses, which is true.

They are implying that viruses are a severe problem on PCs that Mac users do not face. This was undoubtedly true when they were running those adverts.

Yes. They are stating that Macs are not susceptible to PC viruses. Yes, this is true. However this is not worth stating, so most people would infer that Macs cannot get any viruses from that sentence.

It may not be worth stating to people round here who are essentially experts in the field, but to the vast majority of everyday PC users it's not at all obvious and very much worth stating.

According to the paragraph that follows: A Mac isn't susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That's thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part.

They're saying PCs get viruses and Macs don't because of the way it's designed. Not that PCs get PC viruses and Macs get Mac viruses.

They are also implying that it's the sole reason for the lack of viruses, when it's mainly the lack of users. That would explain why it's not susceptible to every other type of software available on Windows.

Next sentence: "That’s thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part."

I guess they should be "thanking" the general incompatibility with Windows binaries.

Given that macs are PCs, being personal computers, it's not true that macs don't get PC viruses.

I believe "PC" has historically meant (or often been used to imply) "IBM PC compatible" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC_compatible) which Apple/Mac was not, until they switched to x86.

The problem is that viruses don't relate to the architecture - otherwise linux and *bsd (on the x86 platform) would have also been windows-like with their malware.

I know I'm playing semantic games here, but so is Apple with this slogan :)

In the context of Apple's "Mac vs PC" campaign, does anyone seriously have doubt about what they mean by a PC?

I know I'm playing semantic games here, but so is Apple with this slogan :)

Not really - in context it's perfectly clear what they meant.

In the general public's eyes Macs are computers, so yes they are PCs. In the Appleland, "PC" is synonomous with "Microsoft Windows", and hence Apple Macs aren't PCs.

I had a long time Apple user ask me if I had a Mac or PC. I was using Ubuntu Linux at the time, so I said PC :P

You should have just said, "Linux". Mac users make this distinction because they constantly need to inform I.T. manager's that they are not using a Microsoft Windows OS. Originally, this meant an IBM-PC or an IBM-PC compatible computer, but it was a whole lot easier to just say "PC". I'm sure Linux users also need to explain to their network admins that they're running Linux.

The term "PC" persists not just for historical reasons, but because its hard to come up with a replacement term. A "Mac" refers both to hardware and the OS, whereas a "PC" means "Windows OS running on Windows-compatible computer". I suppose we could replace the term "PC" with "WOS-ROWCC".

I was going to post the exact same thing, but spent the last five minutes searching site:apple.com virus for a direct quote. Seems they've changed their lingo as I definitely remember (around the time of the whole mac vs pc campaign) a definite statement about not getting viruses at all.

Maybe this ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQb_Q8WRL_g ) (MAC v. PC advertisement on viruses) is what you were thinking of?

For even the most generous interpretations of "several", Mac viruses were not merely theoretical several years ago.

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