Windows 7's infection rates five times lower than Windows XP

Windows 7's marketshare continues to grow at a steady pace at the expense of its two older siblings, Windows Vista and XP, according to the data from StatCounter. In terms of global usage, Windows XP is at 46.44%, Windows Vista at 12.5%, and Windows 7 at 32.64%. Good news for everyone, right? Well, if these adoption numbers aren't convincing enough, perhaps this might convince you (or your technologically challenged peers) - Windows 7 has the lowest infection rates per quarter amongst Microsoft's currently supported operating systems.

The above graph, which was extracted from Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report, shows Windows 7's average infection rates per each quarter in 2010 as 0.38% for 32-bit versions and 0.25% for 64-bit versions. This is about half of Windows Vista SP2's quarterly infection rates and less than a fifth of Windows XP SP3's quarterly infection rates. The tests were conducted on a thousand computers per operating system.

The observations drawn from this chart are made clear in the report:

As in previous periods, infection rates for more recently released operating systems and service packs are consistently lower than earlier ones, for both client and server platforms. Windows 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2, the most recently released Windows client and server versions, respectively, have the lowest infection rates on the chart. 

The lower infection rates from the 64-bit versions was perhaps proof Kernel Patch Protection built into 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and 7 worked, as they noted:

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. Kernel Patch Protection (KPP), a feature of 64-bit versions of Windows that protects the kernel from unauthorized modification, may also contribute to the discrepancy by preventing certain types of malware from operating.

Still a skeptic? Could the lower infection rate be simply due to Windows 7's infancy in the market? This theory would hold if Windows 7's infection rates went up as its marketshare increased, but as this next chart shows, not only did Windows 7's infection rate remain below a quarterly infection rate of 0.4%, there is no clear increase or decrease in infection rates:

The full Security Intelligence Report for 2010 may be viewed here.

Thanks Ci7 for the tip on the forums!

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Here's an article indicating attack on XP is on decline and Windows 7 is up.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2...ms_threat_landscape_survey/

From Article

The latest edition of Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report shows an infection rate of four Win7 PCs per 1,000 in the second half of 2010, up from three Win7 PCs per 1,000 during the first half of 2010. The rise of more than 30 per cent contrasts with a drop of the infection rate, albeit from a much higher starting point, for older and less secure machines running Windows XP. Both figures were taken from scans using Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT)

Not to sound like a party pooper but wasn't the initial argument put out by Microsoft that rate of infection was because Windows was a bigger target than other operating systems - well it all seems to kind of fall flat on its face when you consider that Windows 7 has a pretty big market share at the moment yet the rate is far below that of Windows XP even once taken into account the market share difference between Windows XP and Windows 7.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
Not to sound like a party pooper but wasn't the initial argument put out by Microsoft that rate of infection was because Windows was a bigger target than other operating systems - well it all seems to kind of fall flat on its face when you consider that Windows 7 has a pretty big market share at the moment yet the rate is far below that of Windows XP even once taken into account the market share difference between Windows XP and Windows 7.

XP was created before x86 chips had key security features (like DEP), and without DEP, lots of other anti-exploit features like ASLR are useless so XP had not much in this regard. Vista and win 7 having come out after DEP x86 chips, has tonnes of anti-exploit technology since DEP is no longer the gaping hole, it makes it much harder to exploit Win Vista/7, but it wasn't MS' fault that the chips didn't support it back in 2001.

So it was market share back in XP's time (since every other OS had the same flaws), now it's just plain insecurity compared to new Windows versions that rely or newer chip's features.

J_R_G said,
XP was created before x86 chips had key security features (like DEP), and without DEP, lots of other anti-exploit features like ASLR are useless so XP had not much in this regard. Vista and win 7 having come out after DEP x86 chips, has tonnes of anti-exploit technology since DEP is no longer the gaping hole, it makes it much harder to exploit Win Vista/7, but it wasn't MS' fault that the chips didn't support it back in 2001.

So it was market share back in XP's time (since every other OS had the same flaws), now it's just plain insecurity compared to new Windows versions that rely or newer chip's features.

Just a small correction to my post, I accused Microsoft of the marketshare\infection link when I should have said third party security experts.

Regarding your post, I don't know what point you're trying to raise given that the underlying thrust of the argument was that many of the security issues can the solved through additional technology. Windows 7 is proof that good system design and testing can significantly reduce the area of attack thus make the overall system more secure.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Just a small correction to my post, I accused Microsoft of the marketshare\infection link when I should have said third party security experts.

Regarding your post, I don't know what point you're trying to raise given that the underlying thrust of the argument was that many of the security issues can the solved through additional technology. Windows 7 is proof that good system design and testing can significantly reduce the area of attack thus make the overall system more secure.

I'm trying to say (in my original post) that XP was not as insecure as you might think, most of it was because of things MS couldn't help, like x86 chips having no DEP, when XP was released. Not trying to downplay Win 7, just saying that it was still a market share issue to a large degree, but now with things like CPU DEP even market share shouldn't make that much difference, just trying to get you to 'think 4th dimenisionally'.

An 80% decrease in infection rates is more accurate that 5 times lower. (from 19.3 to 3.8), or Windows 7 infection rates are 20% that of Windows XP.

If something it 5 times larger, it is 500% of the original. So, by stating something is 5 times lower, are you suggesting the infection rate dropped 500%? No, you're not. you're stating it dropped to 1/5.

Vista, Windows 7, XP. I don't think I see one more than the other. They all get infected.

With Moron's behind the keyboard, security? What security?

Xp is still very widely used mostly by those that have comps that are over 3-4years old that didn't get sucked into the Vista vac. Many just don't want to change and that's fine but at the same time Microsoft has about 100 more updates beyond SP3 now and that alone should warrant a SP4 to be compiled for the OS.

I fix LOTS and LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of computers every day, for a living, and I can attest to the FACT that when Vista came out the infection rate dropped DRAMATICALLY, and when 7 came out it dropped even more. I still get a little annoyed when I get calls for viruses on Windows 7, but I figure when you are that big of a target, they will always find a way to get in. Mostly through the user.

I wonder what percentage of those infections were trojan horses that uneducated users ran with elevated privileges.
I'd imagine it's somewhere in the region of 99%.

The Windows 7 is the best so far. I proudly approves this message. Right at the beta stage, my old computer run it faster than vista or xp.

Jose_49 said,
Three words: User Account Control

For regular users: I agree.

For power users, the are two words: common sense.
I disable UAC right away since it just slows everything down. While my productivity level isn't that high already.

Decent protection is key. I've been without real infections for five years now.
And I do visit other sites than Neowin

Jeffrey89 said,

For regular users: I agree.

For power users, the are two words: common sense.
I disable UAC right away since it just slows everything down. While my productivity level isn't that high already.

Decent protection is key. I've been without real infections for five years now.
And I do visit other sites than Neowin

you should reenable it. all it does is enforce fire permissions. You should only have to deal with a dialog box if the software you are using is asking for elevated privileges.. All software back on XP wanted admin. When vista came out almost everything had to have dialog to procede. Today they have made the software to work with a limited account making the whole system more secure. Tbh I have two accounts on my computer. I have my ADMIN account and a limited one. I'm in my limited one 99% of the time.

seta-san said,

you should reenable it. all it does is enforce fire permissions. You should only have to deal with a dialog box if the software you are using is asking for elevated privileges.. All software back on XP wanted admin. When vista came out almost everything had to have dialog to procede. Today they have made the software to work with a limited account making the whole system more secure. Tbh I have two accounts on my computer. I have my ADMIN account and a limited one. I'm in my limited one 99% of the time.

Honestly UAC is annoying, I disabled since the very first minute after installing a copy of Windows 7, I really don't need a ****ty box appears everytime I want to open an exec. file or whatsoever.

I use a free antivirus (doesn't matter the name), with all updates installed every day, all Windows 7 updates installed. I'm a Windows 7 user since the beta 7000, 7100 etc... But beta 7000 was my first try, since then I love this Operating System and I can say I never get a virus. I own a traffic analytic website and I have like 600 users registered, I have to check every website when they register, so I don't enter neowin only neighter, now I'm waiting for the next leaked Windows 8 build so I can try it.

SubZenit said,

Honestly UAC is annoying, I disabled since the very first minute after installing a copy of Windows 7, I really don't need a ****ty box appears everytime I want to open an exec. file or whatsoever.

I use a free antivirus (doesn't matter the name), with all updates installed every day, all Windows 7 updates installed. I'm a Windows 7 user since the beta 7000, 7100 etc... But beta 7000 was my first try, since then I love this Operating System and I can say I never get a virus. I own a traffic analytic website and I have like 600 users registered, I have to check every website when they register, so I don't enter neowin only neighter, now I'm waiting for the next leaked Windows 8 build so I can try it.


Um... what? UAC only pops up for me when I run an installer.

SubZenit said,

Honestly UAC is annoying, I disabled since the very first minute after installing a copy of Windows 7, I really don't need a ****ty box appears everytime I want to open an exec. file or whatsoever.

I use a free antivirus (doesn't matter the name), with all updates installed every day, all Windows 7 updates installed. I'm a Windows 7 user since the beta 7000, 7100 etc... But beta 7000 was my first try, since then I love this Operating System and I can say I never get a virus. I own a traffic analytic website and I have like 600 users registered, I have to check every website when they register, so I don't enter neowin only neighter, now I'm waiting for the next leaked Windows 8 build so I can try it.

What executables are you running?

The only executable I have that display a UAC prompt everytime are Speedfan, CPU-Z and GPU-Z and they need those permissions to access the hardware.

You're obviously not a power user otherwise you would know that you can change the UAC settings. Even on it's defaults it only prompts you when you make system wide changes or install programs.

FYI, Control Panel > System and Security > Change UAC Settings > Move slider to desired level and click OK

Jose_49 said,
Three words: User Account Control

I have seen PLENTY of driveby viruses blast right into the computer and don't prompt a UAC with the default settings at all. This would be my own personal experience as I can never see what my customers will actually admit to.

Mostly coming from a random Google search that sends me to an rogue website. And mostly days before the available tuesday patches become available.

Jeffrey89 said,

For regular users: I agree.

For power users, the are two words: common sense.
I disable UAC right away since it just slows everything down. While my productivity level isn't that high already.

Decent protection is key. I've been without real infections for five years now.
And I do visit other sites than Neowin

I'm sorry, you can not use "Common Sense" and "I disable UAC" In the same post. It's impossible. They cancel each other out.

SubZenit said,

Honestly UAC is annoying, I disabled since the very first minute after installing a copy of Windows 7, I really don't need a ****ty box appears everytime I want to open an exec. file or whatsoever.

I use a free antivirus (doesn't matter the name), with all updates installed every day, all Windows 7 updates installed. I'm a Windows 7 user since the beta 7000, 7100 etc... But beta 7000 was my first try, since then I love this Operating System and I can say I never get a virus. I own a traffic analytic website and I have like 600 users registered, I have to check every website when they register, so I don't enter neowin only neighter, now I'm waiting for the next leaked Windows 8 build so I can try it.


blablabla so called poweruser.
Lower the bar in UAC, theres an option that will not open a annoying box if something is run by YOU, i.e. through actual keyboard/mouse input. But services/programs/malware in the background wants to execute something destructive on any part of windows, w7 needs to run properly... it will fire up the anoying little box.

Good day to you sir. Enjoy your virusses as an 'experienced user'.

There is no doubt that Windows 7 has better security but that is hardly a reason to upgrade especially when it's UI changes aren't universally liked. The point is XP can be secured pretty easily. If you still can manage to get your XP machine infected, the problem is with you, chances are you will get your Windows 7 machine infected as well. XP is secure enough unless you are really stupid to follow all the unsafe practices and get your PC infected.

There's the mandatory post from you.

Seeing as you already you use many third party tools to tweak the interface to your liking, why wouldn't you just upgrade to 7 for the security and keep those third party apps for your interface? It's a win-win situation, perhaps with a bit of getting used to on your end but I'd take security over interface inconvenience any day.

LiquidSolstice said,
There's the mandatory post from you.

Seeing as you already you use many third party tools to tweak the interface to your liking, why wouldn't you just upgrade to 7 for the security and keep those third party apps for your interface? It's a win-win situation, perhaps with a bit of getting used to on your end but I'd take security over interface inconvenience any day.

performance ?

how on earth do the win 7 fanboys over look this ?

its noticable to the noob users that i have installed xp over their vista / win 7 install..
they could not stop thanking me about how fast and smooth xp IS instead of 7 crap etc
and all i had to do was throw the 7 transformation pack on and their ya go..
eye candy AND performance.

I'd like to see the the douche bag fanboys admit windows 7 and vista sucks and performs worse than xp.
i wanna hear it !

if its not true then prove it.

Uhm, maybe if people dont dowload illegal stuff, or stuff from shady websites/file sharers, then that number would be wayyyy lower. Some people are stupid, but such is life.

Honestly though, ive never gotten a virus on my w7, ive had it since it came out.
Speaking of which, ITS PEANUT BUTTA JELLY TIME

auziez said,
Uhm, maybe if people dont dowload illegal stuff, or stuff from shady websites/file sharers, then that number would be wayyyy lower. Some people are stupid, but such is life.

Honestly though, ive never gotten a virus on my w7, ive had it since it came out.
Speaking of which, ITS PEANUT BUTTA JELLY TIME


There is no cure for human stupidity.

auziez said,
Uhm, maybe if people dont dowload illegal stuff, or stuff from shady websites/file sharers, then that number would be wayyyy lower. Some people are stupid, but such is life.

Honestly though, ive never gotten a virus on my w7, ive had it since it came out.
Speaking of which, ITS PEANUT BUTTA JELLY TIME


thats what they all say, that they never gotten a virus... maybe your loaded with them and one of the nodes that keeps sending me "CHEAP VIAGRA!!!" emails

The viruses that affect W7 would affect all platforms if implemented on them including Linux, Mac OSX, Android, iOS and all others.
The fact is, the user gets a box asking if he wants the app to have admin privileges and he/she says yes. No way to avoid this.

So these figures, in modern terms, show how gullible the user is and how popular the platform is and nothing else.

On XP it was possible to get viruses without your knowledge.

Considering the percentage of idiots with computers out there I think this a great result. Those that got infected by 'click here to talk to giant breasts live' ads and then clicking 'yes' 20 times on the UAC security should be excluded from this survey.

imachip said,
Considering the percentage of idiots with computers out there I think this a great result. Those that got infected by 'click here to talk to giant breasts live' ads and then clicking 'yes' 20 times on the UAC security should be excluded from this survey.

If only a license was required to have access to the Internet. That would solve a lot of problems.

And of course make a lot of new issues. Hence, why it has not and probably never will happen. Sadly!

But yeah would be nice if it were illegal for dumb asses to use a computer.

war said,

If only a license was required to have access to the Internet. That would solve a lot of problems.

And of course make a lot of new issues. Hence, why it has not and probably never will happen. Sadly!

But yeah would be nice if it were illegal for dumb asses to use a computer.

i'd keygen that pretty fast

And the majority of those infections are some form of "Antivirus 2011" that the unsuspecting user believes is actually protecting them.

There is no excuse for not using proven secure apps for your operating system (rather than the default supplied by MS). Stupid is non-discriminatory across OS platforms. If they were stupid with XP in handling their security, count on it happening double-time with Vista (w7).

In any event, you wont convert many xp users who havent converted to w7 by now. W7 is still too radically different for the xp crowd. Sorry to disappoint.

Windsinger said,
There is no excuse for not using proven secure apps for your operating system (rather than the default supplied by MS). Stupid is non-discriminatory across OS platforms. If they were stupid with XP in handling their security, count on it happening double-time with Vista (w7).

In any event, you wont convert many xp users who havent converted to w7 by now. W7 is still too radically different for the xp crowd. Sorry to disappoint.

Pretty simple minded sentiment. The only real insecurity with XP was not enabling the firewall by default, but that was fixed in SP2 and running as Admin which is simple to work around. Other insecurities in XP can be chalked down to the time period it came out at, in 2001 when XP was released, there were no x86 chips with DEP so DEP and ASLR were both useless (you need both to have effect, one or the other will accomplish nothing, and DEP wasn't possible in 2001).
DEP was added in SP2, but ASLR I guess is too drastic a change for the memory manager, so it never made it to XP. Moral of the story, XP isn't THAT insecure, it's just that it's minor cracks gave way to a flood thanks to huge market share.

Vista and Win 7 fix these minor flaws and add some additional stuff, now Win 7 is considered the most secure consumer OS by people like Charlie Miller, who won pwn2own 4 years in a row and is himself a mac user.

Edited by J_R_G, May 14 2011, 2:04am :

Windsinger said,
There is no excuse for not using proven secure apps for your operating system (rather than the default supplied by MS). Stupid is non-discriminatory across OS platforms. If they were stupid with XP in handling their security, count on it happening double-time with Vista (w7).

In any event, you wont convert many xp users who havent converted to w7 by now. W7 is still too radically different for the xp crowd. Sorry to disappoint.

I know you would like to feel superior to everyone else to make up for your insecurities, but calling someone stupid because they don't know how to prevent viruses is asinine. That is beside the point.

I know some people who have not migrated to Windows 7 because, from a cost vs. benefit analysis, they can't see paying that much to be a good idea. I tend to agree with them. I, on the other hand, tend to install Ubuntu on most of my machines that used to run XP.

Coolaaron88 said,
So where are the trolls talking about how Windows has viruses and spyware and you would be better off with a Mac?

I LOVE Microsoft, so don't confuse me for a troll. But this is quarterly, and that means every three months, 15 million people get infected with a virus. I don't know about you, but this is rather significant. (4 percent of 300 million, the number of Win7 copies out there)

Coolaaron88 said,
So where are the trolls talking about how Windows has viruses and spyware and you would be better off with a Mac?
That'll probably happen soon, dont worry.

LukeEmery said,

I LOVE Microsoft, so don't confuse me for a troll. But this is quarterly, and that means every three months, 15 million people get infected with a virus. I don't know about you, but this is rather significant. (4 percent of 300 million, the number of Win7 copies out there)

4 per 1,000 is not 4 percent. Try 1.5 Million out of 300 million.

J_R_G said,

4 per 1,000 is not 4 percent. Try 1.5 Million out of 300 million.

No. Each percent is 3 million, times the percentage number (300/100). 2.5% + 3.8% = 6.3 x 3 = 18.9 million infections per quarter.

You probably keep an Windows operating system for about 3 years (a common person). There are four quarters in a year. 3(4) x 18.9 million = 226.8m infections for the lifetime of Windows 7. That is about 2/3 of all users to get a virus once.

EDIT: I did add the two 32 bit and 64 bit together. But even if we were to take JUST the lowest number, we'd still get 7.5 million, and that is way higher than your guess.

LukeEmery said,

That is about 2/3 of all users to get a virus once.

Wrong. X number of infections =/= X number of users getting infected once.

K.John said,

Wrong. X number of infections =/= X number of users getting infected once.

Derp. A single person can get a virus many times, didn't say to the contrary. But that number is enough for 2/3 of the user base to get infected once. That is what I did say.

LukeEmery said,

No. Each percent is 3 million, times the percentage number (300/100). 2.5% + 3.8% = 6.3 x 3 = 18.9 million infections per quarter.

You probably keep an Windows operating system for about 3 years (a common person). There are four quarters in a year. 3(4) x 18.9 million = 226.8m infections for the lifetime of Windows 7. That is about 2/3 of all users to get a virus once.

EDIT: I did add the two 32 bit and 64 bit together. But even if we were to take JUST the lowest number, we'd still get 7.5 million, and that is way higher than your guess.

Christ. IT'S NOT PERCENTAGES. Percentage is per 100, these numbers are PER 1,000. (ONE THOUSAND.) .... (Edit: I see the article has it wrong too, read the report itself.)

Here's a quote from the Report, pg. 34, to help you out:

This data is normalized: the infection rate for each version of Windows is calculated by comparing an equal number of computers per version (for example, 1,000 Windows XP SP2 computers to 1,000 Windows 7 RTM computers).

The reports no longer clearly spell this out, but I assure you this is per 1,000, I've been reading these reports for a long time, the earlier ones spelled it out more clearly, try to find one of them if you're interested.

Here's a link to an old report that describes the units used (per 1,000 as I said): http://www.scribd.com/doc/5464.../32/Infection-Rates-and-CCM

Edited by J_R_G, May 14 2011, 4:36am :

J_R_G said,

Christ. IT'S NOT PERCENTAGES. Percentage is per 100, these numbers are PER 1,000. (ONE THOUSAND.) .... (Edit: I see the article has it wrong too, read the report itself.)

Here's a quote from the Report, pg. 34, to help you out:

The reports no longer clearly spell this out, but I assure you this is per 1,000.

Symbols are handy, here you go, one per mille symbol ‰

J_R_G said,

Christ. IT'S NOT PERCENTAGES. Percentage is per 100, these numbers are PER 1,000. (ONE THOUSAND.) .... (Edit: I see the article has it wrong too, read the report itself.)

Here's a quote from the Report, pg. 34, to help you out:

The reports no longer clearly spell this out, but I assure you this is per 1,000, I've been reading these reports for a long time, the earlier ones spelled it out more clearly, try to find one of them if you're interested.

Here's a link to an old report that describes the units used (per 1,000 as I said): http://www.scribd.com/doc/5464.../32/Infection-Rates-and-CCM

Okay well then it is not my fault. The author of this article mislead me to believe that it was percentages, because he specifically say percentage. I think we can both agree that the person we should be angry at is the author and not me, as it appears you might be.

J_R_G said,

Christ. IT'S NOT PERCENTAGES. Percentage is per 100, these numbers are PER 1,000. (ONE THOUSAND.) .... (Edit: I see the article has it wrong too, read the report itself.)

Here's a quote from the Report, pg. 34, to help you out:

The reports no longer clearly spell this out, but I assure you this is per 1,000, I've been reading these reports for a long time, the earlier ones spelled it out more clearly, try to find one of them if you're interested.

Crap, you're right. Sorry about that!

LukeEmery said,

Okay well then it is not my fault. The author of this article mislead me to believe that it was percentages, because he specifically say percentage. I think we can both agree that the person we should be angry at is the author and not me, as it appears you might be.

Sorry didn't mean to get upset with you, I read the report the day before this article was posted so I didn't read the article closely and assumed it was correct. Just one of those things that happens, nobody's fault really..

Denis W said,

Crap, you're right. Sorry about that!

You missed one:


but as this next chart shows, not only did Windows 7's infection rate remain below a quarterly infection rate of 4%

Benjy91 said,
And the sky is Blue.

*ahem*

The sky is not blue, it is "Sky Blue".

This color, introduced in 1958, is personally one of my favorites from Crayola. Please respect it.

For your convenience, I have included the hex code and RGB values for this color.
#80DAEB

128, 218, 235


/lol

blerk said,

*ahem*

The sky is not blue, it is "Sky Blue".

This color, introduced in 1958, is personally one of my favorites from Crayola. Please respect it.

For your convenience, I have included the hex code and RGB values for this color.
#80DAEB

128, 218, 235


/lol

You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

blerk said,

*ahem*

The sky is not blue, it is "Sky Blue".

This color, introduced in 1958, is personally one of my favorites from Crayola. Please respect it.

For your convenience, I have included the hex code and RGB values for this color.
#80DAEB

128, 218, 235


/lol

easily post of the day

Nope, the sky ISN'T blue. The sky is every color BUT blue and reflects that wavelength, which we perceive as blue LOL.

blerk said,

*ahem*

The sky is not blue, it is "Sky Blue".

This color, introduced in 1958, is personally one of my favorites from Crayola. Please respect it.

For your convenience, I have included the hex code and RGB values for this color.
#80DAEB

128, 218, 235


/lol

blerk said,

*ahem*

The sky is not blue, it is "Sky Blue".

This color, introduced in 1958, is personally one of my favorites from Crayola. Please respect it.

For your convenience, I have included the hex code and RGB values for this color.
#80DAEB

128, 218, 235


/lol

what about at night?

blerk said,

*ahem*

The sky is not blue, it is "Sky Blue".

This color, introduced in 1958, is personally one of my favorites from Crayola. Please respect it.

For your convenience, I have included the hex code and RGB values for this color.
#80DAEB

128, 218, 235


/lol


do we have a word for being "nerded" like someone says something nerdy and then someone else totally outclasses them with something way nerdier?

don't get me wrong i would vote for this to be post of the day if i could.

capr said,

do we have a word for being "nerded" like someone says something nerdy and then someone else totally outclasses them with something way nerdier?

don't get me wrong i would vote for this to be post of the day if i could.

Saying something nerdier? Would saying the sky was actually clear count as nerdy?