updated 12:20 pm EDT, Tue October 2, 2007
More Macs in colleges?
A new report suggests that Mac-using college students are becoming more prominent at a rapid pace, and that most switchers aren't considering moving back to Windows-based computers at all. The number of Minnesota university students who use Macs is rising quickly, according to Pioneer Press, with roughly a quarter of St. Olaf students owning a Mac as of last year with an expected rise of 5-10 percent this year. Buying a Mac is described as a "no-brainer" by one St. Olaf sophomore, while student Mac ownership at Gustavus Adolphus has rocketed up to 22 percent with one in four freshmen owning Macs. "Much of this can be tied to the success of the iPod," technology-services director Bruce Aarsvold said. "[...] Many students also recognize that viruses and infected spam pose almost no risk to the Macintosh platform."
The fact that Macs are approved for use on the Gustavus Adolphus network out of the box, while Windows systems must often undergo modifications to meet stringent security requirements with anti-virus and firewall software, is testament to such security claims in favor of Macs.
At the end of the day, the simpler computer with less setup time enables students to begin course-related work quicker. That, combined with the lack of viruses and spyware afflicting Macs loose in the wild, allow students to begin work in short order and continue working through most security worries plaguing their Windows-oriented peers.