Microsoft has never been shy about applauding the superiority of Windows Vista in comparison with its predecessor, or about delivering the statistics necessary to support its perspective. In this context, according to data made publicly available via the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report January through June 2008, the software giant indicates that the infection rate for Windows Vista SP1 is 48.8% less than that for Windows XP SP3.
At the same time, Vista SP1 64-bit has the lowest possible infection rate compared with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista and XP, from RTM and taking into consideration various service packs.
“The higher the service pack level, the lower the rate of infection. This trend can be observed consistently across client and server operating systems. There are two reasons for this: service packs include fixes for all security vulnerabilities fixed in security updates at the time of issue. They can also include additional security features, mitigations, or changes to default settings to protect users. Users who install service packs generally maintain their computers better than users who do not install service packs, and therefore may also be more cautious in the way they browse the Internet, open attachments, and engage in other activities that can open computers to attack,” Microsoft stated.
But it is not only Vista SP1 that is more secure than XP SP3. The same is valid for the comparison between Vista RTM and XP SP2, where the infection rate is 56.2% less for the gold version of the precursor of Windows 7. Vista RTM has also beaten XP RTM without any contest. In the comparison between the RTM builds of Vista and XP, Vista has an infection rate 85.4% less than XP.
“The infection rate for the 64-bit configurations of Windows Vista were both lower than those of their 32-bit counterparts—48.2 percent less for Windows Vista SP1, and 14.4 percent less for the RTM version,” Microsoft added.