In a disappointing turn of events, it seems that a number of iPods that rolled off of Apple’s assembly line were infected with a virus known as RavMonE.exe. As the name implies, it one effects Windows based PCs. This incident is a major black-eye for Apple and only stands to worry a good portion of the iPods customer base. Like them or not, Windows users shouldn’t have to worry about their latest gadget infecting their computer when it ships from the factory. That being said, Windows users have a lot of things to worry about that should simply be non-issues.
Mac users will likely find humor in the incident. After all, they are immune to the infection. But one day, the shoe may be on the other foot. Simply put, we expect more from Apple.
According to this post on Apple’s site, less than 1% “of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006, left our contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus.” It would be amusing to provide a real world statistic on that. Are we talking 10 iPods, 100, or 10,000? Apple intentionally made the information vague, but no doubt someone will start publishing best guess equations that may or may not be on the mark.
Reportedly the mishap is the result of an infection traced back to a system running on Apple’s production line. But history shows us that Apple isn’t the first company to accidentally ship a virus with their product. Some years ago, Microsoft actually managed to ship a virus on the install CD of a version of MS Office. I wish I could find a story detailing the particulars, but it was big news in its day. Some believed it to be the mother ships ultimate irony.