While Windows Vista has received mixed reviews, most everyone agrees that security is much improved. Security was a priority with Windows Vista. Some may even say they went too far (see User Account Control). However, whether reviewing the posts in our malware removal forum, reading security blogs, or comparing the number of first year vulnerabilities. It’s clear Microsoft has done a great job with security in Windows Vista.

Jeff Jones (Director at Microsoft) recently released a One Year Vulnerability Report (PDF). A picture is worth a thousand words:

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While Windows XP Service Pack 1 (and SP1a) contained some new features, they were critical upgrades mostly because of security improvements. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is mostly a yawner. It’s most notable ‘feature’ is probably a bug fix that improves file copy times. It doesn’t require any sweeping security improvements.

The next year should prove to be interesting. The 800 pound gorilla (Windows XP) will see declining market share. Windows Vista will reach the critical mass where it’s a more attractive target for malware authors. If Apple continues to increase it’s market share, OSX is also likely to experience more targeted attacks. They will all face many new security challenges. The battle lines have been drawn. Only time will tell who is better prepared to protect your data and private information.