It is not like nobody has seen this coming. Microsoft has withdrawn support for Service Pack 1 of its ill-fated Windows Vista and as a result, the much complained about OS has registered a 17% increased risk of malware infection. The risk factor is a comparative percentage measured against the much beloved Windows XP (SP3). It definitely shows you something when tech industry observers still compare Vista to XP, a relatively old OS which still retains a strong fan base and diehard holdouts. Microsoft logged the increased malware infection rate for the last half of 2011. This news is yet another black eye for the OS everyone loves to hate since, normally, newer OSes rack up lower infection rates and are looked upon as more secure than older OS versions. But Microsoft’s latest security reports still show XP standing tall-secure as ever (although less secure than Windows 7).
Related link: Security for Windows Vista and more
Microsoft points out the obvious that its retirement of security support for the Vista SP1 accounts for this increased infection rate. Systems with this version of Vista no longer get automatic security updates and automated security patches. The software giant stopped supporting Vista SP1 last July 2011. As a result, they no longer get fixes to identified vulnerabilities. Cyber criminals, as a result, have been quick to exploit the old OS’ weak spots thereby producing the sharp spike up in malware exploits. Operators of machines with Vista SP2 will continue to get Microsoft’s patches and security support until the middle of April 2017.
Windows 7 owners shouldn’t get too comfortable though-Microsoft also reported that the newer OS’ infection rate increased for each quarter in 2011. No wonder many people hang on to XP-its infection rates are lower compared to newer OS as a whole.