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21 August 2007, 14:02

Microsoft: Vista still more secure than other operating systems

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Jeff Jones has done it again. Following his much-criticised security comparison between Vista and other vendors' operating systems in June, he has published an updated version of his "Monthly Vulnerability Scorecards" for July. In this update, Jones - the security strategy director for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group - concludes again that in the first months after its release, far fewer vulnerabilities were found and resolved in Vista than in a comparable period for Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop 5, Ubuntu LTS-6.06 or Mac OS X 10.4. Windows Vista, he says, was therefore far more secure than any other operating system.

After the initial publication, critics complained that Jones was comparing apples and oranges as many add-on packages or applications come installed as standard with Linux, so it represents more than a pure OS. Even a comparison between what Jones considers to be bare-bones configurations still returns distorted results, they argue. Although Jones has tried to rework his latest scorecard to take account of this criticism he is bound to be slated further for his latest publication. Members of the open source community reckon that Windows users don't even find out about many of the problems which Microsoft resolves in secret, while much more documentation for all scales of vulnerabilities is published for e.g. Linux. Furthermore, according to Jones' interpretation, an operating system is considered secure if the manufacturer does not release any patches at all.

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