This one from executives at the search engine Google, who cite issues with Windows 7 and the version of Internet Explorer Windows 7 uses, version 8.0, as the primary reason for its more than 20,000 employees switching from Windows – based systems to Linux or Mac.
The alleged security breach in January is responsible for a theft of Google’s intellectual property and its subsequent reasoning for the change from Windows – based machines to Linux or Mac based systems.
It is equally likely that Google, who has plans to release its own OS, Chrome, later this year, which includes a version of the browser by the same name, may have decided to make the switch from Windows for competitive reasons and the reasons cited to Microsoft may have been less than genuine.
This means that Google now has an opportunity to open up the way for the Chrome OS to take more of a share of the current OS market.
Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc, in a post from June 1, made the statement [paraphrased here] that hackers have openly admitted that Microsoft has made Windows more secure and more invulnerable to security threats than any competitor company who offers the same type of software products.
LeBlanc also commented that among the steps Microsoft is taking to do this, it is shipping updated software to its partner vendors, as well as offering security updates through its Microsoft Update and Windows Update pages [how to perform those updates is explained following the main article] as well as improving its BitLocker and Windows Firewall software.
Windows 7, according to the same post, uses Address Space Layout Randomization … as well by randomizing data in memory to improve security.
Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) is a computer security technique which involves randomly arranging the positions of key data areas, usually including the base of the executable and position of libraries, heap, and stack, in a process’s address space.
One very important issue to keep in mind, Microsoft support for Windows XP ended in April of this year and support for Windows Vista with no Service Packs ended about two weeks ago [on or about 15 July 2010]
As for how to perform the Windows update:
For versions of Windows prior to Vista, do not use Automatic Update. Instead, go to the site below.
For Windows Vista and Windows 7, go to the Control Panel and select Windows Update. in both cases, select only those updates marked critical and make certain you review any optional updates Microsoft offers because some of them are completely unnecessary.