Microsoft release the firm's 10th Security Intelligence Report saying Java-based infections rose sharply but users of newer operating systems such as Windows 7 were much less likely to be infected than users of Windows XP.
Neowin summarised Microsoft's data, calculating that the quarterly malware infection rate of Windows 7 was around half of the infection rate of Windows Vista service pack 2 and less than one fifth the infection rate of Windows XP.
"As in previous periods, infection rates for more recently released Microsoft operating systems and service packs are consistently lower than older ones," Microsoft said in the report, adding that infection rates for 64-bit versions were lower still.
"One reason may be that 64-bit versions of Windows still appeal to a more technically savvy audience than their 32-bit counterparts, despite increasing sales of 64-bit Windows versions among the general computing population," the report said.
The report also found that other 64-bit exclusive security features, such as the Kernel Patch Protection (KPP), may also contribute to the difference by preventing certain types of malware.