Are Microsoft to blame for “hidden” malware costs and will Windows 7 make any difference?

[ Thanks to steve
for this link. ]

“A while later, Ealing Borough Council were hit with a
cost of £500000 (about US$ 800k) when they were also hit by a
single USB stick containing conficker. Some in the industry tweeted
and blogged this as being a “hidden cost of using Microsoft
Windows”. In the ensuing discussion, many pointed out that the high
cost was really due to the lack of a proper patching and disaster
recovery policy at the council. So which is right? Is dealing with
malware a hidden cost of using Windows or of a poor IT strategy?
Putting the holes in the ‘net

“Even the most ardent Windows fan can’t really argue with the
fact that their favourite OS has a significantly greater number of
malware threats against it than any free software OS will have. The
popular reason given for this is the high proportion of Windows
boxes makes for a tempting target for the people behind the
malware. This is a reasonable argument but it cannot be taken as
the only defence here. If the number of installs is proportional to
the number of threats, why have we not seen even a small increase
in the number of malware threats against free OS? After all the
number of Internet-facing GNU/Linux and *BSD machines around now
measures considerably higher than the number for say five years
ago. Even allowing for the fact that the percentage of desktop
machines using a free OS may not have increased (and I don’t
believe that’s a valid argument anyway), the actual number of
machines is likely to have increased. Yet we do not see malware
writers increasingly targetting free OS users.”

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