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Microsoft claims faster patches than Apple

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Thu June 21, 2007

MS: We patch faster

In a posting to his blog, Microsoft executive Jeff Jones is claiming that in 2006, Microsoft was faster at patching security flaws in Windows that Apple for Mac OS X, and other manufacturers for various Linux flavors. According to his calculation (based on the vendor's own security advisories) the average risk period for Windows was 29 days while the average risk period for Mac OS X was 46 days. SuSE Linux Enterprise stood at 74 days with Red Hat Enterprise Linux's at 107 days and Sun Solaris at 168 days. Of interesting note, however, is that (according to Jones) Windows XP SP2 required more high severity fixes than Mac OS X: 44 compared to 35. Jones based the "days of risk" data. When all threats were considered, the risk-day level was virtually equal for Mac OS X and Windows XP.

by MacNN Staff





  1. SubPop

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ..well I should hope so

    Considering the urgency of the fixes required by Apple were like banging a dent out of the door of a bank vault while Microsoft's required fixes were more like fixing a gaping hole in the side.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Threats not the same

    Threats not the same only claimed to be the same. One big difference, Windows gets hacked and OSX doesn't. Windows gets viruses and OSX doesn't. Windows gets spyware and OSX doesn't. You get the picture.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How do they calculate the unpached holes (or special features) in an average?

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Since Windows is threatened more by Viruses and other types of exploits, it seems logical that Microsoft would respond quicker. Moreover, the only people who threaten the Mac OS are those bent out of shape so called security experts who are always coming up with more times then not lame exploits just to get some press.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is easy

    Wow, I can do this too!

    "In a posting on MacNN, Testudo claims he's intelligenter then other posters, with an average of 33% to other Mac users, and 54% to linux users."

  1. chas_m



    threat LEVEL, hello??

    As an earlier commentator correctly pointed out, insignificant and unseen-in-the-wild minor issues versus HUGE CRITICAL PARALYSING PROBLEMS. I think Jeff Jones fits the definition of "grasping at straws."

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big flaw.

    Namely that he looked at arithmetic means to do this. Without the underlying date, this claim is meaningless. Here's how vulnerable data can be to outliers: Let's say both companies released nine patches, and for both, five of the patches took 20 days and four of them took 40 days. So far they're tied at a mean of just under 29 days. Change one of those numbers for one company to 180 days - and bingo - that company is just under 46 days. That's hardly characteristic of the typical patch behavior of the higher one, in fact except for the one patch, there's no difference between the two. Show me the mode or some measure of scatter and we can make some better conclusions. As Disraeli said, there's lies, damned lies, and statistics.

  1. jmonty12

    Joined: Dec 1969


    nah, nah

    We're faster at fixing our screwups than you, Apple! Ha, ha!

  1. JimmyLib

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Potential Apple spin...

    how about giving statistics like "Vulnerability Days" (just a term I made up) which is the number of users impacted multiplied by the number of days the flaw took to be fixed. Hmmm....

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    When you have a piece of s*** OS thats more open than the w**** on the corner street, you better be faster! Micromorons Inc.

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