Windows Vista is more secure than other modern operating systems according to new research. Security expert Jeff Jones released a report comparing the first six months of several recent operating systems. What suprised me most was how well Windows XP also did compared to various flavours of Linux and Apple’s OS X.
The report compared the amount of vulnerabilities and fixes done on an operating system in its first six months. Windows Vista which broke sales records has easily sold way over 20 million copies already and other systems have sold or been downloaded free of charge about the same amount or less in their first six months. But Windows Vista, followed by Windows XP had the least amount of reported vulnerabilities in its first six months.
The report took care to exclude vulnerabilities in optional software many times found in the latest Linux distributions, but regardless RedHat Linux, Novell Linux, and Ubuntu Linux were the loosers having the most vulnerabilities on release and in the first six months. Apple’s OS X 10.4 places much better than Linux but scored slightly higher than Windows XP making Microsoft an unusual security king for the first six months on their last two consumer operating systems.
What this report does not take into account is what happens in the next six months or years. However, the report creator does say he will release another report in six months to cover a year since Vista being released. Additionally it doesn’t take into effect the large install base of Windows and thus the effect that hackers concentrate their efforts on Windows. It does, however, support my theory that Linux or OS X would suffer as much if not more of a security headache would they become the largest operating system.
Where does this leave users? Well honestly it leaves you with your prefered operating system. Just remember to install updates and security patches. It seams that all systems provide patches in a timely manner. But it does dispell the myths thrown out by Apple and Linux that Windows is flawwed when it comes to security. Security comes by you knowing the risks of the internet and working smartly. It is also understanding that Windows is not less secure than Linux, but that a person that browses intelligently and keeps virus definitions up to date as well as installing security fixes will be more secure. Stay secure and happy surfing!