Microsoft just published a report that compares vulnerabilities and security updates over the last year for Windows Vista, XP, Linux and Mac OS X. No surprise here, but with these measurements, Windows Vista comes out on top.
Jeff Jones, Director in the Microsoft Security Technology Unit wrote the report and describes it as “a vulnerability analysis, which may provide some elements that could be part of a broader security analysis.”
The report doesn’t directly communicate that Windows Vista is more secure and Jones acknowledges that by writing “So, this is not an analysis of ‘the security’. I don’t look at protective mechanisms and see how they might protect in certain scenarios. Nor do I look at security features and see how they might enable better privacy or help secure business process. And I certainly don’t look at how easy it is to manage the security policy for these products.”
But, the frequency of updates portrayed in charts like the one below certainly paints a rosy picture for Windows Vista.
While this may indicate that those using Linux will need to apply more patches, security overall is left as an open question.
In a previous comparison of Linux Red Hat Enterprise to Windows Server, Microsoft criticizes open source, writing “empirical evidence that the ‘everyone can see the code’ approach to software security doesn’t work for Red Hat”.
The company also considers interoperability between distributions of Linux to be a major liability and backs its opinion up from a university professor, “with enough development effort, you can make just about any technology work with any other technology, however, with Microsoft products, we get a fast, cost-effective path to interoperability.”
While Microsoft is able to continue destroying the credibility of the Linux movement and scare potential customers away with integration concerns and security fears it will continue to dominate in the operating system industry.
With all that said, it’s clear Microsoft is scared.