Mere hours after Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) released Safari, "The World's Best Browser," for the Windows platform, to the general fawning of the national media, lightning-rod Apple bug-finder David Maynor has documented a half dozen bugs and a pair of potential security exploits. (He's not the only one, either.)
This is the kind of thing that would make national news -- if the flub were Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) . But, of course, since it's Apple doing the screwing up, it's likely to be swept quietly under the carpet by the mainstream media. And if it resonates in the blogosphere, it'll be in the usual "So what, looser? Apple is teh aweseome," sort of way.
The story has already drawn more than 800 responses on Slashdot, including a large number of feisty fanboi screeds suggesting that Maynor is liar, or acting in bad faith, or both -- a point of view Apple itself orchestrated with a hit piece in response to Maynor's previous work to reveal a potential wireless exploit. Alternately, many of the iSheep claim, with no hint of irony, that bugs or potential security flaws in Safari for Windows don't matter, because, after all, Apple is giving Safari away for free. (Unlike all those copies of Redmond's infamous Internet Explorer?)
New idea for a Mac and PC ad: Oily Mac kid talks trash about how tough he is, and how secure, and then emerges from his parents' basement for the first time ever, getting some sunlight on his pasty skin before a bus ride into the real world. The music from "Midnight Cowboy" plays as the smug boy is conned, mugged, pick-pocketed, and otherwise treated roughly by the mean streets, until he finds comfort in the company of his PC buddy, Ratso, who's been through it all before.
There's a difference between security owed to obscurity, and the kind that's earned (or not) in the school of hard knocks. As Apple moves more and more into the mainstream, both fanboi and investor will have to cope.
Comments? Bring them here.
At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had shares of Microsoft, but no positions in any other company mentioned here. He's tried Safari for Windows, and it displayed the first page he visited incorrectly. Also, the fuzzy font rendering makes his eyes water and his head ache, but he figures that's a small price to pay for using what Steve Jobs assures him is the World's Best Browser. See his latest blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Microsoft is an Inside Value selection. Fool rules are here.