Jeff Jones, Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, has released a very detailed report comparing the vulnerabilities reported and fixed, in the first 6 months after release, of each of the major operating systems. Vista is the most secure operating system ever released.
Microsoft took a lot of heat for delaying release of the Vista operating system, but it has paid off in terms of security and defending against hacker vulnerability.
Vista is more secure than Red Hat Linux, Apple OSX, and even Windows XP. The Linux and Apple fans will be sure to rant and object, but not with facts, just opinions. This report is very detailed, includes actual reported facts, and even strips out some bugs associated with Linux add-on software, so there is a fair "apples to apples" comparison. The report is fair and comprehensive.
Vista is more secure than Windows XP. That is the real measure of success. Linux and Apple OSX do not have much market share, so they don't attract hackers as much. Vista is attacked by all the worlds hackers because it is the biggest target. Given that exposure it is even more impressive that Vista is the most secure.
The Linux and Apple OSX fans will never be convinced, so it is irrelevant to them. It is however, nice to see a report based in facts, rather than the fanatical and biased opinions we often hear from the Linux crowd. One bright spot, Jeremy's Blog, a blog written by a Linux and Open Source evangelist, says;
This report indeed does a better job than some from a methodology standpoint. For instance, he didn’t simply compare a default RHEL install, which includes a full Office suite and a whole host of apps not found in a default Windows install, with a default Windows install. He attempted to rip out the packages from the Linux installs that he perceived as being extra functionality when compared to a Windows install. This gives a much better baseline.
Flame wars are likely to erupt, but to be fair, demand equal attention to detail and supporting facts, and ignore the fanatical opinions.