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Microsoft pursues Win-8-first security-patch policy: analysts.

Microsoft Corp's Windows 7 OS has been left vulnerable to malware attacks as Redmond pursues an apparent policy of only pushing out security updates to its more recent operating systems, the Register reported.

A duo of researchers found discrepancies after scanning 900

Windows libraries and noting that four safe functions present in Windows 8 were

missing from Windows 7.

Moti Joseph, formerly of Websense, and analyst Marion

Marschalek built comparison software, known as a "diffing" tool, called DiffRay,

that reported the missing patches.

"Why is it that Microsoft inserted a safe function into

Windows 8 [but not] Windows 7?" Joseph asked delegates during a presentation at

the Troopers 2014 IT security conference in Heidelberg, Germany.

"The answer is money. Microsoft does not want to waste

development time on older operating systems ... and they want people to move to

higher operating systems."

The pair warned that the shortfall in security patches could leave Windows 7 with zero-day flaws.

According to recent figures from netmarketshare.com, Windows

7 continues to dominate the desktop OS market, sitting on just over half of all

machines, while its younger siblings Win 8 and Win 8.1 account for a mere 13%

share between them. Microsoft stopped support of legacy OS Windows XP in April.

Given that Netmarketshare's figures indicate an overall

91% share of desktops, if Microsoft were to slacken security updates for pre-Win-8

platforms, that would leave 78% of all desktops worldwide under-protected.

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Publication:ITP.net
Date:Jun 8, 2014
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