Richard Stiennon has an article at ZDNet that shows via some interesting pictures why Windows is less secure than Linux. The theory, which sounds logical to me, is that “in its long evolution, Windows has grown so complicated that it is harder to secure.”
I suspect that is the case. Imagine a house on which you add new rooms and wings every year or so. Eventually, there are so many windows and doors that anyone who tries can find a way in and the original burglar alarm isn’t equipped to handle all the new stuff.
That’s probably a good way to think of the Windows security issues.
That, of course, and the fact that everyone lives in houses, so the crooks know that’s where the goods are kept. If everyone lived in trees, the crooks would focus on trees.
In other words, the fact that most people use Windows means that the virus and spyware writers focus on Windows.
Granted, you could use Linux if you wanted to have a more secure system, but I’ve used Linux and while I appreciate all that it can do, it is simply too hard to configure for the average computer user. Plus, a lot of the software that people are used to doesn’t have a Linux version. The smart choice may be Linux, but clearly the easy choice is Windows. In that race, I generally put my money on easy.
When forced to choose between safe in a tree or vulnerable in a house, most people pick the house. Even if the tree is cooler.
So we patch and firewall and hope, while Microsoft keeps building more rooms.