Microsoft bites back at Google's Windows snub

Security expert Symantec claimed the whole notion of changing platforms for security reasons "is tantamount to efficiently chopping down trees, only to find out that you are most likely in the wrong forest."

Writing on the company's response blog, Zulfikar Ramzan, architect and technical director at Symantec, said there were two flaws in Google's reported move.

The first problem, he suggested, was thinking the main security risks are embedded into the platform itself.

"That might have been true five to seven years ago," he wrote. "The reality today, however, is that much of the attack activity we see is aimed higher up in the stack"' [including] applications that run on top of platforms (e.g., web browsers), third-party add-ons that run on top of applications (e.g., browser extensions or plug-ins), and ultimately the human beings who operate the platform."

Ramzan went on to say it's a "misconception" that any one platform is safer than the other.

"The reality is that many commercial software platforms and applications are highly complex," he said.

He added: "They contain many millions of lines of code, and they can often be augmented with a host of extensions and plug-ins. Furthermore, applications can often interact with each other in a myriad of ways. The result is that it's rarely a matter of whether an application is vulnerable, but rather a matter of whether someone will expend the energy to find the vulnerabilities."

We contacted Google for a response to the blog but a spokesperson reiterated its stance from yesterday, saying: "We do not comment on specific operational matters."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.