UPDATE: I’m not the only one. Read Scott Lowe’s post on the same topic (he’s talking about OS X, but makes the same point).
One of the biggest reasons for many people to switch to a UNIX desktop, away from Windows, is security. It is fairly common knowledge that UNIX-like systems are more secure than Windows.
This is all true and good, for now. If Linux ever does become mainstream, like some think it might in the near to quasi-near future, Linux will be just as safe and secure as the “evil” Microsoft Windows.
The vast majority of users use Windows as their primary OS, therefore the vast majority of bad guys write their stuff for Windows. It’s the same for Internet Explorer versus Mozilla Firefox. If I was an evil person, why would I write my viruses, etc. for Linux and Firefox when I could do a lot more damage writing them for IE and Windows.
That being said, if Linux and OSS become mainstream, the bad guys will begin to target those things causing Linux and OSS to lose their “more secure” status.
So, do we geeks really want our precious OSS to go mainstream?