During the launch of the new Windows 7, Microsoft had a lot to say about the safety features it offered, and especially protection from viruses and malware. While it was always meant to be taken with a pinch of salt, the guys at security firm Sophos decided to put the operating system to the test.
Chester Wisniewski of Sophos writes that they loaded up a machine with a fresh version of Windows 7, and left all the User Account Control options at default. Then, they grabbed the next 10 unique virus samples that arrived in the SophosLabs feed to see how well the newer, more secure version of Windows and UAC held up.
“Unfortunately, despite Microsoft's claims, Windows 7 disappointed just like earlier versions of Windows. The good news is that, of the freshest 10 samples that arrived, 2 would not operate correctly under Windows 7,” Wisniewski writes.
Lesson learned? You still need to run anti-virus on Windows 7. A viable option could be the new, free Microsoft Security Essentials suite that the company has launched recently. Ars Technica reported a few days ago on an antivirus comparison by AV-Comparative that puts Microsoft Security Essentials as the best free anti-virus solution out there, ahead of names like AVG, Avast and Avira.
Windows 7 debut is a hit
Meanwhile, market analysis firm NPD has released a report that says Windows 7 has done extremely well since its launch on October 22. According to NPD’s weekly tracking service, Windows 7 software unit sales in the U.S. were 234 per cent higher than Vista’s first few days of sales.
“Microsoft’s program of early low-cost pre-sales, high visibility marketing, and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch successful,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “In a slow environment for packaged software Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles.”