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Lenovo reminds everyone why it's better to get a Mac

Earlier this week it was discovered that Lenovo, a prominent manufacturer of Windows PCs, had loaded Superfish adware into some of its laptops. In order to insert advertising on websites, the adware broke HTTPS certificate authority — and that leaves these machines open to untold traffic monitoring and manipulation.

The public discovery of this adware made for a very bad day at Lenovo headquarters. But it made for a very bad, no good, downright horrible day — and conceivably, a year or more — for Lenovo's customers.

If you think I'm being sensational or overstating, you're wrong. I'm sensationally understating it.

This is such an egregious assault on customer privacy and data, and in my personal opinion, it should be taken as an opportunity for everyone and anyone to re-consider the benefits of going with an Apple-made computer and switching to the Mac.

The Adware deceit

It's no secret that in the cut-rate world of ultra-competive, cheap-as-a-feature PCs, manufacturers try to make up for the money they don't make from hardware sales by selling out their customers. These hardware insertions are typically called "crapware" or "adware;" not only does it junk up and slow down Windows PCs the world over, it also hurts the company's customers. They may think that they're getting a deal, but they're really the ones getting dealt.

If it sounds like I feel strongly about this, you're damn right. I can't count how many times I've had to help PC-using family and friends de-junk their brand new, sluggish Windows desktops — sometimes having to buy them new copies of the Windows OS to nuke and pave over whatever utterly unremovable adware and crapware the vendor installed.

What Lenovo did was far worse than simple adware or crapware insertion, however. The company didn't just add programs that slowed down your PC or encouraged you to buy antivirus software: Lenovo's Superfish adware hacked into HTTPS security within every web browser installed on an affected machine so that it could inject adware into even supposedly secure web sessions.

Worse, Superfish used an incredibly easy-to-crack password — a common dictionary word guessed in minutes — to "protect" the forged certificate they used for the hack. That password is now common knowledge, and anyone with one of the affected machines is now thoroughly unprotected on the Internet.

The actual danger to any specific customer is hard to assess: It could well be minimal. Your average user may not be a huge target, but a group with the same vulnerability can make a larger, more attractive en-masse target to hackers. Think about the kinds of websites protected by HTTPS security: Banks. Tax services. Healthcare information. Now, think about that information accidentally ending up in unfriendly hands.

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A betrayal of trust

Now, all software has bugs, and all bugs can potentially be exploited. That's a risk something everyone — on every platform — has to live with, and something every well-intentioned platform owner and vendor has to be ever-vigilant about discovering and patching.

But this isn't a bug, or a risk. What Lenovo did was deliberate. They didn't fail to find or fix an exploit. They intentionally created one. The company isn't the victim of hackers. They're the perpetrators of a hack.

When first exposed, Lenovo responded by saying it used the adware to try and create a better shopping experience for their customers, which is both disgusting and insulting. The company also said that there was no security risk — which is negligent and malicious. When pressed, a follow up admitted to the security concerns.

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Why I'm putting my trust in Apple

This isn't the first time a manufacturer has deliberately sabotaged its products to service its own ends. (Sony, famously, implemented Root Kits on their own customers to try and prevent them from enjoying their own music on their own computers.) And despite the inevitable fallout from Lenovo's massive misstep, it probably won't be the last time, either. Adware and crapware have become increasingly ubiquitous on OEM PCs, and declining industry profits may turn yet more vendors towards their worst angels.

Except Apple.

Apple makes its money up front. The company makes great products that provide far more value than they cost, and enough people feel that to way to have made the Mac the only current desktop and laptop success story in the market. The Mac's share keeps growing even when the PC market as a whole has shrunk. And it's beyond profitable enough that we, as customers, don't have to worry about Apple implementing any adware or crapware schemes anytime soon.

Just like with Apple's services, the company believes in selling the product, not selling out the customer.

Whether anyone chooses to trust in Lenovo's products again makes no difference to me — I'm using a Mac. My interests and Apple's currently align. I'm fine. Not having to wake up one morning to discover the company that made my computer has betrayed me is of enormous comfort and value to me — far beyond the cost of the device itself.

Apple isn't perfect, and there are certainly bugs and features on OS X and iOS that need to be fixed. But they aren't intentional, they aren't malicious, and they aren't out to deceive or trick customers into giving away their personal data. As of right now, today, the company is making privacy, security, and integrity not only a point of pride, but a core feature and value proposition of its product line.

And I bet more and more people take notice of that, and more and more people switch to the Mac.

What to do if you're at risk

If you're afflicted with Superfish, Lenovo has posted resources on how to remove the damage to your system:

You wouldn't be faulted, however, for getting a clean version of Windows and reinstalling from scratch. Better still, if you have to run Windows, get a PC from a Microsoft Store that's adware free. Otherwise, seriously, consider switching to Mac.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

192 Comments
  • In the old days (pre 1990's) Lenovo would be on the hook for deceptive advertising and criminal fraud. I'm not so sure we are being smart by no longer prosecuting these sorts of lapses. They knowingly eliminated the possibility of using the machine securely, whilst at the same time advertising it as a secure machine. Clearly deceptive, and clearly deliberately so. If it was anyone other than a big important company, this would be known as a "con" and the "con artist" would be sent to jail.
  • Kind of off-topic, but on every story I read on this site, I always see you've written a comment LOL.
  • Alternatively, buy products through Microsoft, including Lenovos. Their Signature Series policy means all hardware only has Windows installed, with no bloatware, adware, or shareware. Indeed, not even Superfish was installed on the Microsoft-sold Lenovos. (By the way, to Lenovo's credit they stopped shipping devices with Superfish back in January and those devices never included enterprise devices like ThinkPads. The internet is just playing a bit of catch up now.) Plus, you get better service, often better prices, and a better warranty. No different than buying through Apple, right? Even Microsoft's superior built in Windows Defender can disable Superfish, making Norton and McAfee a thing of the past (as they should be).
  • You beat me Daniel
  • Did you report him to the authorities? You should press charges for assault!
  • I think the point Rene is trying to make is that the fact that Lenovo would even consider let alone actually do what they've done hack their customers and indirectly leave their customers without protection on the internet. Apple as it makes it's money by selling you a product would never do this. They sell you a mac, not a craPC which is then used as a way to make money off advertising which is hacked onto your computer
  • Absolutely.
  • There have been many cases in the past were Apple has ignored series flows in their hardware/OS until it came out in the media. From that perspective, one could say you should Avoid Apple products.
  • By not including those key points though you're creating a slanted story, imo. And to pretend Apple WOULDNT do this is naive. We assume they wouldn't. I put nothing past no company. I'd hope they wouldn't since they already charge an arm and a leg for their services.
  • It's more complicated than that. Lenovo is looking to compete on price by driving costs down. One way they do that is by bundling software and in this case, adware. The ability to hack Snapfish is what is really the news here. The questions is, was Lenovo aware of the security risks this imposed? I see no evidence that they were, although they did respond to customer complaints by voluntarily removing this from devices last month. So the issue for myself is intent. Did Lenovo knowingly seek to harm their customers or put them at risk? Or did they just make a (really) bad decision? Yes, it was a bad choice, but has Apple never made a decision that has negatively affected customers? We should be careful here because I bet Apple will take a misstep or two sometime, how can they not? We need to put this perspective, not put companies on pedestals.
  • i could believe the fact that a (big) blunder and didn't proper realise the security threats that super fish could result in but the face that they were initially unwilling to remove it, makes me feel uncomfortable about their intentions and how much they knew about the implications of super fish and that would change their intent
  • "The questions is, was Lenovo aware of the security risks this imposed?" So you're arguing that they're not malicious just grossly incompetent. OK, I guess.
  • A Mac is a PC. PC stands for personal computer, not windows personal computer. Not trying to derail, I just don't understand why people can't see that a Mac is a PC. What Lenovo did was crap, and they should be sued for it to the tune of at least providing every customer that had superfish, a free and adware free copy of windows. I don't dislike Apple computers and they do make their money up front, which in fine with. Their computers have premium industrial design and the best trackpad in the business. What I dislike about Apple computers, and the Mac Pro line specifically, is the lack of video card power. I can deal with the price, but give me an option for the best video card on the market. For those that say there is an apple tax, yes, but not as big as you might think. Check out the razer blade line. They are almost as expensive as Mac Pro retinas. The blade has a similar (almost carbon copy) design. Really, the only apple tax in this case is that you get a much better video card with the razer for roughly the same price. If you want premium, you have to pay for premium. That is true with both Apple and Windows based PCs. Sent from the iMore App
  • While we are on on the subject android is never against the iPhone because android is not a phone it is a operating system on a phone. I never understood why people compare iPhones to Android? Sent from the iMore App
  • Meant to say "I never understood why people compared iPhones to Abdroid" Sent from the iMore App
  • They compare Android to iPhone because iOS only comes on an iPhone (as far as phones are concerned), so they put 1 + 1 together and get 3. Just for the record, since Android 4, I have liked both, but for very different reasons. I can see why people take sides, but personally, I think there are times where Android fits better, and times where iOS does. I really do like both. Here is the thing for fan boys from both sides, when Google (or MS for that matter) come up with a great idea, iOS will eventually benefit. When Apple have a great idea the reverse is true. Everyone benefits, well after all the patent battle dust clears anyway :-)
  • Wish I could pull features from each to make my own phone OS. Sent from the iMore App
  • Correction: Android is not an operating system, but more like an advertising virus that is installed on phones.
  • Thank you, Daniel for making a mention of that. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yup, that's what I was gonna say. This has nothing to do with my new Surface Pro PC.. No Bloatware.
  • I included that in the article, Daniel!
  • Nice to read some solid arguments from a trusted source. Plus you don't have only Lenovo to choose... And Windows 8 and above have a simple option to factory reset, no complications involved; it removed all Samsung's bloatware from my brother's notebook. Sent from the iMore App
  • I wouldn't give them any credit. Not after this. This is terrible. What else have they done? Or will they do?
  • After this, why would you buy a Lenovo through anybody? They need a serious time out to think about what they've done.
  • True.. I bought one of their signature machines and it came clean as a whistle.
  • Rene you failed to mention Microsoft's Signature line, some of these Lenovo computers have Signature counterparts that are pure windows with no bloat. They are the Windows PC equivalent of the Nexus series on Android.
  • It's a good point, but is this known to the average customer? If someone tells me "buy a Lenovo, they're good" I may not have the first clue on how to get the "Microsoft Signature line" so if I see a good price at Best Buy, I'm not getting it. I'm getting the one with malware on it. If someone tells me "buy an Apple, you can trust them" I can walk into an Apple Store, Best Buy, or any other dealer and I'll get a safe machine.
  • You're absolutely right! I am not an unaware consumer for the most part, but I did spend most of yesterday decrapifying my desktop Windows machine from HP that I reset to factory default. And I was not aware of Signature Lines MS machines at all, much to my chagrin. Nevertheless, I will receive my first Mac next week and am quite curious about it. iOS was not my cup of tea, for mobile I am very much enamoured with BlackBerry 10, but I've heard so many good things about the MacBook Pro and Yosemite, that I'll give that a go!
  • Although I find it hard to believe you spent "most of yesterday" or any day for that matter decrapifying your computer, you should try http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ next time.
  • Thank you for doubting me, that is most helpful. Decrapifier? I had something like that, and while I didn't have to monitor it the whole time, I did have to let it run for several hours and then fix some registry items that it broke. After that came Windows update, which alsobtook a godawful time. So, curious to see what Yosemite will bring.
  • I find it to be easier to just install a fresh and bloat ware free copy of windows. With the hardware key being stored in bios now, I don't even have to keep buying new copies as long as I make sure that the computer comes with the same flavor of windows as my install disks. Sent from the iMore App
  • All devices from the Microsoft Store, physical or online are Signature PCs though I believe they can be found at some retailers as well. Anyway, no it's not well known by the average consumer, nor are the Microsoft Stores at this point still. However, there have been editorials highlighting them including over at Windows Central. It doesn't help when there are article like this that make no mention of them. You would think a tech writer would be in the know of these things.
  • "if you have to run Windows, get a PC from a Microsoft Store that's adware free. " Rene the tech writer mentioned this or perhaps you didn't read to the end so is it Rene's fault?.
  • +1 thank you!
  • I mentioned it at the end of the article. WINDOWS USERS PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END :)
  • Rene you mentioned it in the section "what to do if your pc has superfish" or something like that, to me the article was over. It would have made more sense to put it in the main body of the article. Almost like you didn't want us to read it hmmmm... JK Rene, and I am not a fanboy or anything, my main desktop machine is a Windows machine I built, my laptop is a Late 2013 MBP and I use an iPhone 6 Plus. I also carry around an HP Stream 7, strictly for reading comixology comics
  • +1
  • If I didn't know your writing, I may not have read at all. I read it because you're the author. But that title was pure "Apple über alles". That didn't offend me, it's an opinion piece on an Apple centered site, but it's not as if you advocated considering brands other than Lenovo. It was quite specifically "buy Apple". Don't be surprised if you appear to be cheerleading.
  • That was barely a footnote after a whole article explaining why PC vendors are evil, they always do this, and you can only trust Apple. Think of the average consumer reading this: They're led to believe that all PCs are infested with adware, spyware, bloatware, etc. (The cheap ones almost always are, but most higher end consumer PCs and nearly all business PCs have little to none of this stuff on it, hence the more premium price). This leads to a false sense of hype and hysteria that tricks and confuses consumers into thinking they're unsafe always. I find this tragically ironic, seeing as Rene: You yourself are always combating hype articles that exaggerate iOS security issues (Which I appreciate, iOS is secure, people have to do stupid things to be vulnerable). That's why I'm disappointed, this is borderline irresponsible journalism. If I knew nothing about computers: I'd be scared using Windows right now, I'd be on edge thinking that just using Windows will leave me at risk to all sorts of viruses. This article makes Mac seem like the ONLY solution to this crapware problem, not just one of many options. Again, the mention at the end is barely a footnote, and if you don't know anything about the Microsoft Store and their Microsoft Signature line of PCs (Which many don't), they still won't know anything, they'll be as confused as ever. You should've spent more time explaining this option, explaining how Signature PCs typically costs about ~$30 more than their non-Signature counterparts, but also come with world-class customer service and great warranty options that leave the consumer happy with their purchase decision (Honestly: I've never gotten better customer service than at a Microsoft Store). This article generates false hype about a supposed "danger" in using Windows PCs. I'm not understating the Superfish issue: This is bad, Lenovo has dug themselves a deep hole. It's incredibly irresponsible that they left their consumers prone to such security issues. But instead of explaining how Windows users can better protect themselves and avoid it (I.E: Explaining Microsoft Signature and the Microsoft Store, how to check for and remove potentially adverse crapware from a new machine, list of more premium devices and/or Windows OEMs that leave the OS untouched [The Surface line, including the Surface Pro 3, is free of such rubbish]), you just say, "Yup, Apple is the only way to go, can't trust anyone else. Not a single one." One footnote doesn't make up for an entire misleading article, that's lazy journalism. You're creating a false sense of hype. Rene, I deeply respect you as a journalist, but I'm wondering what happened here: How did you fall victim to the very low-life journalistic tactics that you activity crusade against? This article just has a very venomous, "Destroy Windows" tone to it. Again: If I was an average, completely uneducated tech user reading this article: I'd feel very anxious and in the dark about what to do on this issue, and feel my ONLY option is to switch to a Mac.
  • Interesting. I have a Lenovo laptop that I was using before I got my MacBook Air. Its sitting on my shelf now. Good thing I installed Linux and hadn't used Windows in quite awhile lol.
  • In my circle, the only reason anyone buys a ThinkPad is to install Linux or BSD. As great as MacBooks are, my biggest complaint is that they don't come with a trackpoint nub. If you're going to be fingering a keyboard all day auditing code and whatnot, the least they could do is give you a clitoris.
  • Some people say Apple products are overpriced. That there are cheaper alternatives. Apple products are the best value products in the world when u consider that you pay with more than just money when you settle for something lower priced. Always ask yourself, is the maker/seller comfortably pricing the product for his profits/ambitions? If it looks like a good deal for you, run away from the nearest exit. There are more important things in life than the money you saved.
  • I always thought they were overpriced. Until I got my MacBook Air. The difference I have found between my Windows laptop and this MacBook is that I felt I needed to upgrade my Windows laptop regularly. It would last me maybe a year and I was already looking to get a new one. I don't feel the same about the MacBook. I feel its an investment that I will have at least 2 years. Comparing price between a Windows laptop and a Mac....its not close. I can get better specs for cheaper. But its not as well built. Its not going to last. Ill lose that savings when I have to upgrade in a year.
  • "Better specs for cheaper" has always made me laugh, because there are a lot of specs. To me, case construction is a spec. Build quality is a spec. When someone says that they're saying "only the specs that matter to me are worth considering."
  • Fair point, Windows OEMs have been pretty bad about that in the past. But they're also stepping up their game. May I please point you in the direction of the Surface Pro 3 or the Dell XPS 13 (2015)? http://www.windowscentral.com/quick-comparison-dell-xps-13-versus-macboo...
  • One thing people who play the price game always forget is that an old mac is worth far more than the same age pc. And you can use that to offset the initial cost of a new machine. When I bought a new MBP I sold my 4 year old one for 300. A 4 year old PC laptop is worth nothing.
  • Yes but you probably spent vastly more in the first place.
    My £2000 Mac might be worth £1000 three years later but my £1000 PC which is only worth £400 has ony actually lost me £600. Why are people not seeing this?
  • May I ask how much you spent on your Windows laptop you felt needed upgrading after a year and how much you spent on your MacBook?
  • True. There are also real world constraints on people's wallets. Fact is, the majority of people on this planet cannot afford a Mac, no matter how good some people think it is. Microsoft is selling an HP laptop, no adware, bloatware...just pure Windows for $179. To suggest that the person considering that device, should really be opting for Apple is insane or naïve.
  • And what if Apple did the same thing tomorrow. What would you do then? Move to Linux? For all we know there's a well hidden malicious service running on your Mac and iOS devices that nobody has yet discovered. After all, much of Apple's OS is proprietary. This religiously cultish worship of companies and brands is even more dangerous than malware running on your devices.
  • That's fine, what evidence do you have from any reputable source to justify your statement that Apple is doing this now or possibly in the future? Can anyone predict the future? In society you are judged from the past and present. The evidence against lenovo was verified in the present, where is your verification? Still trying to keep an open mind.....
  • Apple has tracked users without their consent in the past. Bottom line is every corporation in a ultra capitalist system is going to exploit every avenue to make even more money. And sometimes, some of the things they do will not align with the customer's interest. Our responsibilities as customers is to remain ever vigilant, not lull into a false sense of security or engage in brand and company worship. Apple as a company is not incapable of mischief, including putting malware into your devices. And this has nothing to do with profits. Lenovo is the largest maker of personal computers in the world, and made a healthy profit last year. Yet, greed and the desire for more profits, didn't stop them from making an extremely stupid and consequential decision.
  • Really? If you are thinking of the wifi location caching, remember that data was never collected by Apple and only used to speed up location services. That didn't stop the press from running with "OMG! Apple is tracking you!" I can't think of a time when Apple purposefully tracked any user without their consent.
  • II consider myself a pragmatist, I am an IOS user but use PC at home as well at work. Just like society there is good and bad. I consider Apple a lesser of evils. There are no manufacturers that are innocent. We live in a capitalist society and there will always be greed, but as a PC user this stuff like with what happened with Lenovo is getting a little tiring.....the question I ask my self, I I going to be better of if I try a Mac go for full integration or stay with PCS. Are you telling my I would be worse off if I switched from PC to Mac?
  • Sorry for the typos, spell check went crazy..
  • As long as you install clean copies of windows, you should be fine. That is like the virus thing. I have used windows based computers since windows 3.1 and have gotten a virus exactly twice. Once was because of a roommate and once was because I weighed the risk vs reward and rolled the dice.... and lost. Sent from the iMore App
  • If this was something apple had done or has been know to do then I would agree with you. Apple simply just doesn't want data the way other companies do. Like the article said the PC industry has been in a race to the bottom and have razor thin margins and revenue because of this. This would really be one of the only reasons a company would do something like this is to make up some of that cash. Apple on the other hand doesn't even put bloat on their Macs, iPhones, iPads, or any Apple product so why would they betray their customers trust in this way. You can act like we all are a cult and love macs way too much but apple actually does treat their customers like customers. Why do you think so many people continue to pay more money for their products? You might not understand that, but people don't do that because it is some kind of a cult. That would make zero sense. Apple takes our data and privacy very seriously. They always have. They know that their record revenues could drop in a heartbeat if they played fast and loose to make a few extra dollars. I get you might not like apple and feel you need to stand up for all PCs or android devices (I don't know where your preference lies), but when a company knowingly does something like this it needs to be news. This can't become the norm. This race to gather and sell data (the Google model) to the highest bidder for cash needs to go. It seems like weekly this happens. Hell, even Google was caught doing something like this on macs that's don't even have Google products on them. They had to pay millions to a bunch of states for breaking laws. This has to stop. It just does. So even if you don't like apple don't stand up for companies like this.
  • Like I noted in the response above, Apple has tracked users without their consent in the past. Apple as a company is not incapable of mischief. Our responsibilities as customers is to remain ever vigilant, not lull into a false sense of security or engage in brand and company worship.
  • Citation please. And see my previous reply before you do. The location tracking was caching on device, and in user backups. I can't remember any time when Apple took data and tracked users with it.
  • Like I said I would totally agree with you but I simply haven't seen it out of apple. I agree apple isn't free of certain policies, but at the end of the day I do feel that my data is safe with apple as they simply don't rely on it like Google, Facebook, and others do. If this happened I would love to read about it. I'm not saying it didnt I'm just saying if I had I certainly would have heard about it as it would have been blown up a lot bigger than this is as Apple is simply held to a higher standard. I don't agree with everything Apple does, but I do think I am a smart consumer and up until the last year or so I was in the camp I didn't care what others did with my data and privacy, but after the shenanigans that Google pulled in spying on Safari users and such a race to sell data I find myself a lot more cognizant than I ever was before. It is because of this I find myself more and more not using Google products and I've dropped Facebook entirely. They shouldnt make money off of my data and I'm going to do my part not to let them have it. if we should all be smarted about this then I guess we do agree on something. I just don't see how so many can give a company like Google a pass when 97% of their profits come from selling data to their real customers and then in the same breath you want to call apple evil and say they do the same things. The past shows a different story. Apple doesn't need this cash to survive. Google on the other hand is almost 100% relient on this business model. They surely act differently than apple does and I won't believe differently, but if this happened please post a link so I can see it. Thanks for the reply. I appreciate a good conversation that doesn't have to do with people calling others names because we don't agree.
  • Snowden says surveillance software exists in the iPhone.
    http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/32557/intelligence/snowden-doesnt-us... Class action lawsuit against Apple for user tracking.
    https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2014/08/04/apple-faces-class-action-sui... Stories of NSA backdoors in iOS.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2014/07/22/every-iphone-has-a-se... Apple tracking user again without consent.
    http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+is+Tracking+iPhone+iPad+Users+Location+Ea... Rene perpetuates the myth that Google sells your data. And, unfortunately, people believe him. As a matter fact, Google doesn't sell data. They don't give any of your data to third parties. The user your data to show you relevant ads. Google hosts and sell Ads, not data. It you're really paranoid about security and privacy, they you should only use open source tools and platforms. Otherwise, all you have is blind trust and faith in these corporations who only care about their bottom line.
  • You presented facts and links to facts. That's why you were ignored afterward. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Have any of those links been verified as facts? Heck, one of those lawsuits is about caching WiFi location data. That data was never used by Apple. Sent from the iMore App
  • So, I shouldn't buy an Apple based on "what if"? By that logic, I shouldn't ever buy anything. Basing my purchase decisions on past and present facts is by no means cultish worship. Avoiding something based on unproven "what-if" scenarios sounds a whole lot more like cultish worship to me.
  • What if Apple is Hydra? What if they're the Skrulls? What if doesn't matter in a world of what is, and that's current Lenovo getting caught doing this and Apple not.
  • "After all, much of Apple's OS is proprietary." And Windows isn't?
  • The moment I found out apple had installed malicious software on their computers, and specifically on my computer, I would contact a lawyer and quit buying Apple computers. I don't believe you should sue over everything, but with companies like this, the only way to get them to change is through the wallet. Also, I'm not talking about them tracking how often I open safari or something like that. I'm talking malicious, as in intentionally breaking my security or forcing ads on me regardless of browser. Sent from the iMore App
  • Carrier IQ was on the iPhone.
  • And Apple took a while to get Heartbleed patched on the Macs.
  • The difference is heart bleed was a bug not a bug apple put on devices on purpose to track their users data and then sell that data to other customer. There is a giant difference there. If your saying that other companies haven't had bugs that they took "awhile" to patch then your wrong. This is hardly something to compare to what this article is talking about. Not only that but from what I rememwber once heart bleed was found Apple had a patch pushed out really soon to get rid of the exploit.
  • Yes years ago, not anymore so in fact Apple removed it back in late 2011 early 2012 when it was a big privacy concern in that time. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Carrier IQ was removed back in 2011 before iOS 5. Apple stated they did that as they didn't agree with what the company collected. Carrier IQ was on almost all android devices until it was found. I don't get your point?
  • Hahahahaha. Nice try.
  • I would, but then Dell XPS 13 Signature Edition.
  • Funny you bring that up. I had it firmly in my crosshairs. It's gorgeous. The model I wanted (i7, 8GB, 256GB SSD) cost $1600. Still much more value (for me) than the closest possible MBA, which still doesn't come close on resolution or touchscreen. This would be my first Dell. So I go to the MS Store and there's the Inspiron 13. i7, 8 GB, 500 GB HD. $800!!! The main difference was that it's slightly thicker and slightly heavier. It also only had the 1920 resolution, but it DID support the Active Stylus (styli are becoming sort of mandatory for me). More importantly, it was upgradable! Memory and drive are slotted in, not soldered. That sealed the deal. I went to Microcenter, bought a 500 GB Samsung 850 Pro for $350. Total cost: $1150. Could have left the machine at $800 and upgraded at a later time, but I really like it. You just can't do that with the Macbooks. Not anymore. The real equity with Macbooks is OSX, which is the best Unix on Intel. It's a fine OS. You know what? Since WIn7, Windows is a fine OS too, and if one manufacturer turns you off, you can go to another.
  • Oh man, that's insane. Active sylus is a big plus for me as well. The fact you were able to swap out the HDD for a whopping huge SSD is redonkulous value, size and weight aside.
  • Rene, you failed to mention that superfish was installed on Lenovo laptops within a small, three month window. I had it on mine, but did an uninstall and registry clean the day I bought it. I uninstall ALL pre-installed software other than the OS immediately, every time. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • If they installed it for a day, an hour, a second, it would not make it any less egregious. I'm sure your trolling amuses you, but I'm just as sure that if you engaged in productive, well intentioned discussion here, we'd all benefit more :)
  • Actually, your trolling amuses me. Even if I got mad or worried about superfish (which my yoga had) I still wouldn't switch to Mac. There are another 20+ manufacturers to choose from. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I was just about to say "oh no another Rene rant about windows (which I hate as well)" but after some brief investigation I whole-heartedly agree with this post. Also I will never be recommending this brand of Windows pcs to friends or colleagues in the field. Discusting to prey on the uneducated or even the bamboozled alike.
  • This is what I said above. You can love or hate apple but this should bother anyone on both sides of the PC/Mac and iOS/android debate. This cannot become the norm.
  • It's entirely appropriate to have contempt for them all... ;-)
  • I'm an I.T. professional, supporting 150 users and my office is 80% Mac. I have, on average, 2 Macs completely fail/week. Either logic board or hard drive. All Macbook Pros from the last few years (including the recent retina Macs). Meanwhile, Dell and HP PCs that are 3-4 years out of warranty are still chugging along without so much as hard drive failure. No, it is NOT better to get a Mac. I see it from a macro level. We order dozens of them/year and this is a regular thing. You're paying three times as much for hardware that fails much more often and when your year warranty is up: good luck. Sure, you can get Apple care for a premium, but you just added a third of the cost. Lenovo is just ONE hardware partner for Windows. If they choose to do something shady, that's on them. But there is lots of great PC hardware out there, including the Surface Pro 3 and at this point, I'm of the (professional) opinion that much of that hardware is more reliable than what Apple is churning out. I'm really tired of the hipsters (not directed at you, Rene) talking about how Mac is better and claiming it doesn't get viruses (which has recently been proven to be quite false) without any shred of actual technical knowledge. Yes, there are some things that Mac excels at, but as an overall platform and hardware choice: No. Not from where I sit.
  • I'm calling BS on your whole response. 2/week? Lol!
  • You can call BS all you want, it doesn't change the facts. Yes, 2 hardware failures per we