The response comes from Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc on the official Windows blog. Of course, there's the usual "my security is bigger than yours" argument. "There is some irony here that is hard to overlook," LeBlanc writes, "For starters, check out this story from Mashable a few months ago where it was reported that Yale University had halted their move to Gmail (and their move to Google's Google Apps for Education package) citing both security and privacy concerns."
Futhermore, LeBlanc points to a whole load of things Microsoft is doing that improve security, as well as a number of features that makes Windows and associated products more secure. Automatic updates, improvements to BitLocker disk encryption, parental controls, Internet Explorer 8 with Smartscreen Filter ("which has proven its success time and time again"), and so on.
"When it comes to security, even hackers admit we're doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else," LeBlanc adds, "And it's not just the hackers; third party influentials and industry leaders like Cisco tell us regularly that our focus and investment continues to surpass others."
It's the problem Microsoft is dealing with. As most people without an agenda will tell you, Windows 7 is an incredibly secure piece of software, with boatloads of advanced security features the competition doesn't have - however, Windows is still the biggest target, and if you want a safe operating system, Linux and Mac OS X are simply the better choices since malware does not exist for those platforms (bar a few odds and ends in pirated software).
On top of that, Microsoft fully deserves the bad reputation it has garnered over the years when it comes to security, and this still coming back to bite them in the bum is a good thing. It forces them to step up their game, making sure users of newer versions of Windows are safer.