In a transparent attempt to drum up anti-virus software sales, McAfee’s regional director for Africa, Chris van Niekerk, has told a colleague that an increase in smartphone adoption is synonymous with an increase in viruses. He maintains that hackers are targeting smartphones specifically and cites the weaknesses of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform as the primary reason for this. Read about his posturing here.
What van Niekerk fails to mention is that Microsoft is small potatoes – VERY small potatoes – in the smartphone operating system (OS) business. Indeed, the last research on the subject I saw was provided in Gartner report entitled: “Market Trends: Smartphones, Worldwide, 2Q06” (12-Sep-2007). In that report the US-based research house notes that smartphone shipments in 2Q06 were dominated by the Symbian OS (71,3%) and Linux (19.4%). Microsoft accounted for a paltry 3.3% of the market. For the sake of smartphone security let’s hope it stays that way.

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