Google Ditches Windows Over Security and Microsoft Fires Back

Google is ditching Windows in favor of the Mac OS and Linux because of security concerns, according to several Google employees.

Image courtesy of siliconvalleywatcher.com

The move to other operating systems began in January, after Google’s Chinese operations were hacked, and effectively ended the use of Windows at Google, which employs more than 10,000 workers internationally.

“We’re not doing any more Windows,” said one Google employee. “It is a security effort.”

“Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks,” another Google employee elaborated.

Employees themselves have grown more concerned about security since the China attacks and hastened the move. Not surprisingly, the move away from Windows is also seen as a bridge toward the company adopting Google’s own Chrome OS. “A lot of it is an effort to run things on Google product,” an employee stated. “They want to run things on Chrome.”

The move created mild discontent among some Google employees, appreciative of the choice in operating systems granted to them – an unusual feature in large companies. — Windows is not an option. “Linux is open source and we feel good about it,” one employee explained. “Microsoft, we don’t feel so good about.” Many employees were relieved they could still use Macs and Linux. “It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows,” he added.

Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from “quite senior levels”, one employee said. “Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,” said another employee.

Google and Microsoft compete on many fronts, from search, to web-based email, to operating systems. Yet Apple on the other hand is almost a partner with Google in the iPhone OS and on the Mac. Take for example the Google maps app on the iPhone and the fact Google is the default search engin on Safari.

Now this all from several Google employees that might have hated Windows and wanted to spread some false rumors. Nevertheless, Microsoft is aiming to squelch out any claims by defending the security that Windows offers, saying it aided in derailing a Gmail deployment within Yale University.

“When it comes to security, even hackers admit we’re doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else. 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.,” Microsoft noted in its blog.

Microsoft doesn’t mention Google particularly in the blog, but mentions “…whether or not one particular company is reducing its use of Windows.”

Google wasn’t alone in receiving jabs. Microsoft also threw a punch at Apple, highlighting reports on Tuesdays in regard to spyware that had been targeting Mac OS X machines that are being downloaded within various free applications.

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