SAN FRANCISCO — Believe it or not, a Windows Web server is more secure than a similarly set-up Linux server, according to a study presented yesterday by two Florida researchers at this weeks RSA conference.

The researchers, appearing at the RSA Conference of computer-security professionals, discussed the findings in an event, "Security Showdown: Windows vs. Linux." One of them, a Linux fan, runs an open-source server at home; the other is a Microsoft enthusiast. They wanted to cut through the near-religious arguments about which system is better from a security standpoint.

"I actually was wrong. The results are very surprising, and there are going to be some people who are skeptical," said Richard Ford, a computer-science professor at the Florida Institute of Technology who favors Linux.

– Mike