Apparently, a number of newer video iPods – a very small number, just a very few… trivial, really, hardly worth mentioning at all – come equipped with an undocumented feature: a virus that can infect Windows computers.

Apple has issued a warning indicating that a small number “less than 1 percent,” of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12 left a contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus.

Apple states:

“This known virus affects only Windows computers, and up-to-date antivirus software, which is included with most Windows computers, should detect and remove it. So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X are not affected, and all Video iPods now shipping are virus-free. As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.

Yes, yes, yes – Windows is susceptible to viruses. We get it already. But if you’ve been affected by this issue, you don’t want to have Apple’s unique selling propositions rammed down your throat; you want to know how to fix the damn thing. And an apology wouldn’t hurt. (Neither would knowing the difference between “less” and “fewer”, but we’ll leave off indulging my inner grammar cop for another day.)
I suspect most users reading that document translate it to this: “As you might imagine, we are upset with a large segment of our customer base for being stupid enough to stick with Windows, and even more upset with ourselves for not convincing them to switch to our vastly better product.”

Today’s PR tip: an air of superiority (even if legendary and mostly well-earned) makes for a lousy apology. Oh – and maybe don’t let the guys in marketing do the last edit on your support docs.

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