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October’s Patch Tuesday—or as some in security circles have come to call “Terrible Tuesday”—contained fixes for more than 34 vulnerabilities, including one for Windows 7.

Issuing a patch for an operating system that was still more than a week away from general availability would have been a black eye in the days of Windows 98, NT or 2000. Today, it’s almost an expectation. After all, every operating system and application package requires period security updates no matter it stage of development or availability.

Microsoft isn’t repeating the mistakes it made during the launches of XP and Vista by declaring the new operating system “the most secure ever.” During the past two Windows releases, Microsoft had much to prove to the world, since its platform was being sliced and diced by hackers on a daily basis and costing users billions of dollars in lost productivity and compromised data. This time around, though, security is more about the features and functionality than the bravado of secure code and vulnerability risk management.

CHECK OUT: Windows from Start to 7 — a Retrospective

Security is a selling point for Windows 7; a clear justification for upgrading installed machines or refreshing aging desktops and laptops. Lower memory requirements and improved functionality are one thing, but solution providers should be talking with customers about the benefits they’re reap by migrating from XP to Win7 (let’s face it, few are going to be upgrading from Vista).

Let’s be kind and honest: security was one of Vista’s strengths. Users were annoyed by the persistent pop-ups that would verify every software install and the firewall was sometimes too restrictive for some Internet-dependent applications. However, Vista has substantially less vulnerabilities than any of its predecessors still in use. Windows 7 retains many of the good security features, including the embedded firewall, antimalware protections and user account controls.

Windows 7 sports security features that reflect the growing need for data protection and integrity while enabling access and availability for an increasingly mobile user base.

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