Windows computers have long been the most vulnerable to infection and virus attack, in fact, it’s a key selling point for both Apple (Mac) and Google (Chrome) when appealing to new customers. The issue is not so much that Windows systems are not as well coded or protected, but rather that they are by far the largest customer base with the greatest proportion of programs and applications. As such for the black hat hackers and bad guy virus writers, attacking Windows systems provide them with their greatest bang for the buck as seen quite recently in the WannaCry Ransomware attack where 230 thousand people around the world had their systems compromised in a matter of days!
“S” is for Superman
Other reasons for Google’s and Apple’s successes, however, are a bit more complicated. Google specifically with their Chromebooks designed a system where virus and malware protection is built into the device and its always automatically updated. Apple with their closed infrastructure and very tight controls, ensure that any apps are vetted and validated thoroughly before being allowed to go into production.
Windows it seems has however taken a page from both of them with their new Windows 10S as new apps can only be installed from the Windows Store and the focus has definitively shifted to the cloud in terms of performance enhancements. Windows 10S is a locked down system as standard desktop applications will not work on it (you can easily upgrade to Windows 10 Pro), however, the most commonly used applications – Microsoft Office for example – will be available on the Store at launch.
Will everything on the store work?
Simply put, no, not all apps on the Store will work. Developers will need to package it up as a Windows app, but Microsoft will have the final say on what will and won’t work on the 10S. With the focus for Microsoft on the lucrative education sector, having a device that works, and works fast, is going to be a huge selling point.
I still don’t feel safe, what can I do?
While Microsoft’s solution seems elegant and to have covered all the bases, the key to any new development and deployment is time. It’s essential that you allow all the bugs to be worked out in advance of your jumping on board as regardless of the amount of testing, the real world is significantly more complex. In most cases, 6-12 months is the standard amount of time to wait and as your new laptop will not allow you to install desktop versions of antivirus as Avast, AVG or Avira for Windows 10. It’s best to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.