Users of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system may do well to ensure they have implemented sufficiently reliable data protection measures, in light of recent figures released by the company.
According to a Computerworld report, recently released Microsoft data indicated the number of malware infection incidents on computers loaded with the popular operating system climbed by approximately 30 percent during the second half of 2010.
This contrasts with Microsoft Windows XP, which, despite its age, is still widely used. According to the figures, malware infection for Windows XP declined by more than 20 percent during the same period.
Jeff Williams, principal group manager for the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, admitted to Computerwold that infection rates for Windows 7 have indeed increased. According to Williams, the greater number of infections likely results from an "increased presence of malicious software attacks out there."
During the first half of 2010, approximately three out of every 1,000 32-bit computers running Windows 7 were infected by malware. This increased to more than four in 1,000 in the second half of the year, according to Computerworld.
According to the report, 64-bit Windows 7 installations fared better, with approximately 2.5 per 1,000 machines experiencing a malware infection over the entire duration of 2010.
Although Windows XP users experienced a decline in the number of malware infection cases, the total portion of systems infected remained high. According to the report, the infection rate for Windows XP SP3 machines in the first half of 2010 stood at approximately 18 per 1,000 computers. This dropped to approximately 14 per 1,000 in the fourth quarter, the report said.
According to Williams, Windows 7 offers better data security than its predecessors. "With the broader adoption of Windows 7, more customers are protected," he said.
Since its release in October 2009, more than 350 million copies of Windows 7 have been sold.