[qubes-users] Benefits of running Windows VM in QubesOS

I have come across many mails regarding running Windows 7 VM in QubesOS. So far it is not clear to me what are the advantages of running Win7 on QubesOS. Can someone quickly summarise the advantages as opposed to running Win7 (or Win10) normally as sn OS on the system, whether alone or in dual boot?

Just to be clear, I understand the advantages of running Linux OS’s as VMs on Qubes. Do the same advantages apply or are there any other benefits?

If you dual boot Windows and Qubes, it’s possible that a Windows virus could modify your Qubes /boot partition and infect Qubes. A way around this is storing the /boot partition on a removable drive which you never plug in while Windows is running or starting, but this doesn’t prevent all possible attacks. Windows viruses could for example compromise the firmware of various components or the mobo. In Qubes, Windows is run sandboxed and doesn’t interact directly with hardware unless you specifically allow it.

Running Windows 7 as your daily work OS is risky, since its security support has ended and extended support is obtained from possibly dubious third-party sources (unless you’re willing to pay Microsoft hundreds of dollars per year). Windows 10 is more secure against typical hacking attacks, but in other ways it can be considered compromised by design. (I personally prefer 7 to 10 even with security issues).

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