Windows 7 64-Bit Most Secure: Microsoft Report

Dennis Faas's picture

A recent report revealed that many businesses still have no plans to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, leaving their ailing PCs at higher risk for malware. That may change, however, with a new report suggesting that Windows 7 is five times less likely to be infected by malware than its predecessor.

Windows 7 Five Times More Secure than XP

The study comes from Microsoft's own Security Intelligence Report, which is released annually.

The report not only revealed that Windows 7 is five times more secure against malware than a machine running Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), but it was also twice as effective as 2007's Windows Vista in preventing such frustrating and costly infections. (Source:

Windows 7 64-Bit Most Secure Using 'KPP' Technology

The report also revealed that the most secure version of Windows is Windows 7 64-bit.

That's because Windows 7 64-bit uses something called "Kernel Patch Protection" (KPP). Kernel Patch Protection is a feature of 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows that prevents unsupported modification of the central component (the "kernel") of the Windows operating system.

Patching the kernel has never been supported by Microsoft because it can greatly reduce system security and reliability. That said, it is technically possible to patch the kernel on 32-bit editions of Windows. But with the 64-bit editions of Windows, Microsoft chose to implement technical barriers to kernel patching.

Kernel Patching Protection Conflicts with Antivirus Suites

Several antivirus software developers use kernel patching to implement antivirus and other security services using 32-bit Windows.

This type of antivirus software will not work on computers running 64-bit editions of Windows due to the Kernel Patch Protection. Because of this, Microsoft has been criticized for forcing antivirus makers to redesign their software without using kernel patching techniques. (Source:

Most PCs bought today are shipped with Windows 7 64-bit pre-installed.

Javascript Targeted Exploits Spike in 2010

Microsoft's security report involved more than just operating systems. It also examined exploits targeted at Javascript, revealing that such attacks have spiked in the last year.

At the same time it seems that PDF exploits (those targeting Adobe's Reader and Acrobat programs) have taken a major slide. (Source:

Conflicting Windows 7 Report Released Last Week

While this new report may convince a few businesses to finally make the leap away from Windows XP, it's most visible effect may be to deflect attention away from another, far less glorious report involving Windows 7.

In a report last week, Microsoft admitted that the number of Windows 7 malware infections has jumped 33 per cent over last year, though that number may be slightly inflated. The trend makes sense, however, considering that Windows 7 is still a fairly new operating system, and its adoption rate is likely to increase as Windows XP end of life approaches.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet