According to one leading security research lab, Windows 7 is vulnerable to an astonishing 8 out of 10 viruses it was exposed to during testing.
The author questions the test because no anti-virus software was installed, and new viruses were used to test the exposure. He seemed to think this might not be fair, but I strongly disagree.
This was the perfect way to test Microsoft’s claims that Windows 7 was über secure, hard to crack, etc. They’ve been bragging about security for Vista and Windows 7 for years, yet no one has done the obvious: test them on their own.
It should be obvious that anti-virus software masks the underlying operating system’s vulnerabilities. Such a test only shows how good the AV software — not the OS — is at protecting a PC.
What Sophos’ test proves is that MS was full of it regarding the security of Windows 7; that in point of fact an anti-virus solution is absolutely required to secure your system, because the OS itself is as vulnerable as ever.
Run the same test with a BSD, Linux, Mac, or other *nix system and they’ll kick Windows 7’s ass, and with no third-party solution as a band-aid. That’s because they’re already secure, thank you.