If you’ve missed the recent MSBlast outbreak, check this for some background: Wired News: Geeks Grapple With Virus Invasion.
Microsoft says “apply our patches” and of course most people don’t. Some of those who do have been burned in the past, details above.
All OSes will have security problems to some degree, but MS have a poor record and a huge installed base in which to spread viruses. With Blaster, it’s no longer just email that’s the entry point. Plus, as long as department and school heads chase a PC monoculture in the name of consistency and ease-of-support, this is going to continue to happen.
Say the net’s a forest: if we’re chopping down all the interesting trees to make way for fast-growing pines, there are going to be problems. Disease, lack of change, no animal life, and eventually the ground will become devoid of nutrients. (Um, I think I lost that thread a bit.)
And at some point, with some future security leak, the first virus out is going to be a destructive one, and millions of people will lose all their photos, music and writing.
Easily avoided if you don’t join the herd: don’t use MS Word, don’t use Windows, and you will never get a virus. Not an option for everyone, but it’s worth thinking about for a home system. Dammit, I just want to say Get a Mac without being a crazy zealot. Did I do OK?