updated 12:55 pm EDT, Fri June 22, 2007
Vista most secure OS?
According to a study (PDF file) conducted by Microsoft's own Trustworthy Computing group in its Security Business Unit, Windows Vista is more secure than any of its current rivals, including Mac OS X and Linux. Vista was paired alongside other operating systems for 90 days, and compared for the number of vulnerabilities and repairs that arose; while it still came second behind Windows XP, and with a "high" severity rating, it still defeated Mac OS X -- which came in third -- and three major Linux variants, namely Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, and SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.
Concerns over the legitimacy of the test include not only the objectivity of the source, but the number of entry points provided by the operating systems: different features may make one OS inherently more vulnerable than another. To counter this Microsoft removed unnecessary programs from the Linux bundles, but this did not address any differences between Windows and the Mac OS. Similarly, the popularity of an OS may make it a more likely target, although this fact biases the study in favor of Microsoft.
A recent independent report actually suggested minor improvements over XP in terms of security, mainly in Windows Defender's ability to catch trojans and spyware. Vista also tends to provide more warnings about installing malware or spyware. [via vnunet]