The recent WannaCry attack was one of the most prominent cyberattacks in recent history, infecting well over 300,000 computers. Given that the exploit was exclusive to Microsoft's Windows, one could imagine it negatively affected the company's image but according to a new survey, that's not necessarily true.
Of the 2,148 individuals sampled by Morning Consult, more than half showed a degree of concern regarding their use of the company's platform in the future. Surprisingly, however, their concerns about malware have not made them wary of the company's products, with only 25% expressing their reluctance in a future purchase. A much larger 39% were mostly ambivalent and 19% even suggested the attack made them more likely to buy Microsoft products.
An overwhelming 83% still viewed the company favourably just a week after the attack, suggesting that the Microsoft brand has remained mostly untarnished. Alongside Microsoft's popularity with customers, the company is also experiencing a wave of admiration from Wall Street, where its share price rose to $70, a first in the company's 42-year history.
This may be explained by the above survey, as most users blamed their own habits for the attack, encouraging many to upgrade to newer versions of Windows and prompting them to adopt common sense safety practices such as installing patches as soon as they're available and installing security software on their machines.
In the wake of the attack, Microsoft was quick to put the blame squarely on intelligence agencies' stockpiling of cyber exploits, as the WannaCry attack was engineered using exploits first developed by the NSA. That, alongside Microsoft's prompt release of a patch for even old and unsupported OSes like Windows XP and 8, seems to have been enough in enabling the company to keep its customers loyal.