Microsoft has been constantly boosting the security capabilities of its Windows clients, and the company has the numbers to prove it.In the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 9 (for the first half of 2010) released at RSA Europe, the Redmond company points out that users running Windows 7 are less susceptible to infections with malware designed to transform their PCs into zombie machines than customers that continue to use Windows Vista or Windows XP.
There are less Windows 7 computers compromised and made part of botnets than Vista and XP, even if the two platforms have the latest service pack installed, as users can see in the graphic included in this article, courtesy of Microsoft.
“The botnet infection rate for Windows 7 and Windows Vista is significantly lower than that of their desktop predecessor Windows XP with any service pack installed, which reflects the security improvements that have been made to the more recent versions of Windows,” the company explained.
“Considering only computers that have had the most recent service pack for their operating systems installed, the infection rate for Windows XP SP3 is twice as high as that of Windows Vista SP2 and more than four times as high as that of the release-to manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7.”
The fact of the matter is that Windows XP SP3 and XP SP2 have the highest infection rate out of all Windows operating systems, even higher than XP SP1 and XP RTM.
Microsoft has dropped support for older versions of Windows XP, and this how the company explains the drop in infection rates, as MSRT is not installed and executed on non-supported platforms.
“As IT departments and computer users move to more recent service packs or Windows versions, computers running older operating system versions are often relegated to non-production roles or other specialized environments, which may explain the lower infection rates,” the company stated.
SIRv9 comes to prove, if there was any need, that customers are better off running the latest version of Windows, at least when it comes down to taking advantage of the security enhancements delivered by the Redmond company.
“The features and updates available with different versions of the Windows operating system, along with the differences in the way people and organizations use each version, affect the infection rates seen with different versions and service packs,” the software giant said.
Windows 7 RTM Enterprise 90-Day Evaluation is available for download here.