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Google drops Windows from staff machines

Google drops Windows from staff machines

Google's decision to move its employees away from Windows - for security reasons - will come as a blow to Microsoft.

Google has made an interesting internal decision extremely public indeed: it is to completely phase out the use of Microsoft Windows on its workers' desktop machines, claiming the operating system represents an unacceptable security risk.

As reported over on The Financial Times, Google's long-held stance that its employees should be free to choose whatever operating system they feel most comfortable with on their desktops will come to a sudden, screeching halt: while you'll still have the choice of a Mac or a PC, you'll have to run Linux or Mac OS X.

According to an un-named Google employee, the move is an official decision from the higher-ups that "we're not doing any more Windows[, as] it is a security effort" and that already "many [employees] have been moved away from [Windows-based] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks [against Google.]"

While Mac OS appears to be the operating system of choice - possibly for its out-of-the-box, pre-configured ease of use - employees are also given the option to run a flavour of Linux. Again, an un-named employee states that "Linux is open source and we feel good about it[, but] Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

The news is something of a disaster for Microsoft: with such a large company - and one seen as a trend-setter and trailblazer for the industry as a whole - making the concious decision to avoid the use of Windows altogether for security reasons, it could start to find its traditional iron grip on the corporate desktop market starting to weaken.

Do you believe that Microsoft has anything to worry about following Google's decision to drop Windows, or is this just posturing by Google as a response to Microsoft's rival Bing search engine? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

66 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
BlackMage23 2nd June 2010, 11:25 Quote
They have moved a long way from simply being a search engine into a rival to MS, so this is just a PR move by them, and I'm sure that's what MS will say when someone asks them about it.
GravitySmacked 2nd June 2010, 11:26 Quote
I can't say I'm surprised by this, they are competitors after all.
deathtaker27 2nd June 2010, 12:05 Quote
true, just a publicity stunt tbh as well.
blood69 2nd June 2010, 12:17 Quote
Quote "While Mac OS appears to be the operating system of choice"
Quote "Linux is open source and we feel good about it[, but] Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

So, MAC is open source to??????
Don't you feel bad???
It's just an excuse, i can hack more ease a MAC or a Linux than a WIN7 OS. Trying to hack a Windows based os it's like break into a house in a bad city, bars at the windows, doors with good locks. Hacking a MAC its like break into a farm were every doors and windows is open while the family is miles way doing the daily shop in their pickup truck.
AshT 2nd June 2010, 12:22 Quote
Obviously MS has pissed them off somehow.
dyzophoria 2nd June 2010, 12:44 Quote
i think google is pushing it too much. they know that every other OS is riddled with security flaws, and surprisingly. MS atm has the least number vulnerabilities. if they are doing this as a PR stunt for maybe an OS they are developing, well they will have to do good in a field MS is now practically an expert in ( tackling with vulnerabilities ), it would be funny when google moves to a new OS and find out within days that they have a security breach as well. im beginning to think their system wasnt managed that properly. or they are still using windows 95-xp til now.lol
Silver51 2nd June 2010, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blood69
... It's just an excuse, i can hack more ease a MAC or a Linux than a WIN7 OS ...

Indeed, I was under the impression that Macs hadn't fared too well in recent competitions such as Pwn2Own.
Mr T 2nd June 2010, 12:50 Quote
Id love to see how 'secure' OSX would be if they had the same market share as Windows.
Nexxo 2nd June 2010, 13:00 Quote
Of course there is no possibility whatsoever that Google may have some valid and informed concerns. I mean, it is not as if they know computers and software any better than we do. It is not as if they employ Top Gun programmers, design applications for a range of OS's, have any experience at developing their own OS's, and make millions at that game.

Oh, wait, hang on, actually they do.

Cry "conspiracy!" all you want, but I know for sure that if I ran the NHS I would ditch all those Windows machines right now and use Macs only. Why? Because they are easy to use by a predominantly computer-unsavvy workforce. Because they are less easy to mess up by people who don't know what they are doing and hence are easier to maintain. Because you don't have to worry about all sorts of ideosyncratic legacy configurations of Elonexes, Compacs and Dells with different specs running different versions of Windows. Because the computers initially may be more expensive, but the subsequent OS upgrades are very cheap. Because they are compact all-in-one boxes, quiet and more easy to clean --a consideration that matters in a hospital.

Then I'd ditch the Office suite and go for something like OpenOffice (or at least iWork: £60,-- vs. £300,-- for MS Office). It's a no-brainer.
steveo_mcg 2nd June 2010, 13:10 Quote
Remember vulnerabilities we are aware of is not the same as total number of vulnerability, the linux crowd publish every vulnerability as they find them so that some one can patch them asap exploited or not. MS publishes a patch every Tuesday (?) usually fixing a vulnerability which has been exploited already what they wont tell you is how many time bombs are just sitting on our desktops waiting to be abused.
Tattysnuc 2nd June 2010, 13:11 Quote
I know I shouldn't, but I REALLY hope that they get hacked again. It's not like MS is insecure. The China hack was due to an Internet Explorer 6 exploit if I remember right. Surely switching to OSX and Linux will just expose their vulnerabilities, so this could end up being tremendous for MS, so long as:

1. They do get hacked
2. They publically admit that they have been.

On the flip side though, if all their employees stop using the rivals products and start using their own, they can canvass opinion internally BETTER as to how they should focus development work. That's going to be invaluable IMHO....
Shagbag 2nd June 2010, 13:54 Quote
A progressive step by Google albeit motivated in-part, I suspect, by politics. Nonetheless, it's still progressive.
AshT 2nd June 2010, 14:06 Quote
... in other news, Google won the daily prize of Public Enemy Number 1 on the Bit-Tech forums.

Any bets for tomorrow?
tristanperry 2nd June 2010, 14:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T
Id love to see how 'secure' OSX would be if they had the same market share as Windows.
Exactly. Nothing is 100% secure, and if hackers turned their attention to the closed-sourced OSx I'm sure they'd find some interesting 'issues'

I see this as a publicity stunt and nothing much else.

Plus I've never actually had a virus or been hacked (etc) from a Windows vulnerability. For me it's always been getting viruses due to programs *I* have chosen to install/use.

*Shrugs*
Mraedis 2nd June 2010, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMage23
And I'm sure that's what MS will say when someone asks them about it.

They already did say that.
digitaldave 2nd June 2010, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blood69
Quote "While Mac OS appears to be the operating system of choice"
Quote "Linux is open source and we feel good about it[, but] Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

So, MAC is open source to??????
Don't you feel bad???
It's just an excuse, i can hack more ease a MAC or a Linux than a WIN7 OS. Trying to hack a Windows based os it's like break into a house in a bad city, bars at the windows, doors with good locks. Hacking a MAC its like break into a farm were every doors and windows is open while the family is miles way doing the daily shop in their pickup truck.

l33t haxor cant even get past win7, oh dear

(posted from my mac pro behind a £2000 hardware firewall)

;)
<A88> 2nd June 2010, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

Then I'd ditch the Office suite and go for something like OpenOffice (or at least iWork: £60,-- vs. £300,-- for MS Office). It's a no-brainer.
Given that NHS employees can bag MS Office for about £20 I'd imagine the company itself is paying a similar price for its licenses, no? Still, if you're going to switch 1.3million people over to Macs I guess you'll need to start cutting costs somewhere else ;)
DXR_13KE 2nd June 2010, 14:42 Quote
Where is crazyceo?
Edge102030 2nd June 2010, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blood69
Quote "While Mac OS appears to be the operating system of choice"
Quote "Linux is open source and we feel good about it[, but] Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

So, MAC is open source to??????
Don't you feel bad???
It's just an excuse, i can hack more ease a MAC or a Linux than a WIN7 OS. Trying to hack a Windows based os it's like break into a house in a bad city, bars at the windows, doors with good locks. Hacking a MAC its like break into a farm were every doors and windows is open while the family is miles way doing the daily shop in their pickup truck.

Trololololol.
Nedsbeds 2nd June 2010, 15:05 Quote
So how do they continue developing windows software? Chrome, desktop search, toolbar, outlook plugins etc
GoodBytes 2nd June 2010, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge102030
Quote:
Originally Posted by blood69
Quote "While Mac OS appears to be the operating system of choice"
Quote "Linux is open source and we feel good about it[, but] Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

So, MAC is open source to??????
Don't you feel bad???
It's just an excuse, i can hack more ease a MAC or a Linux than a WIN7 OS. Trying to hack a Windows based os it's like break into a house in a bad city, bars at the windows, doors with good locks. Hacking a MAC its like break into a farm were every doors and windows is open while the family is miles way doing the daily shop in their pickup truck.

Trololololol.

Actually he is right.
The attacks that Google are getting are not the malware that steal credit card info and all that crap that is aimed at the general public. They are aimed specifically at Google. Therefor, the OS is irrelevant. No OS is bullet proof. I think, that staying with the latest version of Windows, and ensuring that every computer in the company are fully updated (and not do "every 6 month or so, we update all the machine or re-image them with the latest updated") than it would be much more secure than an OS (MAC OS) that doesn't fix in due time, nor mention, nor informs about any discovered security issues.

Now as for Linux, well it is open source so vulnerability could be found, and exploited before anyone else knows about it, I am not saying it isn't a secure platform. Due to the lack of popularity of Linux, it is difficult to come to conclusion whether or not Linux is the most secured platform. But, so far it seams to be doing an excellent job and updates are frequent.
Edge102030 2nd June 2010, 15:42 Quote
So you don't think that the actual way the OS is built has anything to do with it? Because Unix and Linux based OSes aren't built like windows, they are inherently more secure and gaining access to data is harder on those than on windows.
DragunovHUN 2nd June 2010, 15:46 Quote
Handy then that they're working on their own Chrome OS, innit?
Fizzban 2nd June 2010, 15:47 Quote
Google sticks two fingers up to MS huh. A PR stunt it may be, but this will do some damage. But then look at how much crap has hit the fan for MS over the years. And they are still standing. Gonna take a lot more than this to matter. Windows 7 is still the best all-round OS out there.
Bluephoenix 2nd June 2010, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Why? Because they are easy to use by a predominantly computer-unsavvy workforce. Because they are less easy to mess up by people who don't know what they are doing and hence are easier to maintain. Because you don't have to worry about all sorts of ideosyncratic legacy configurations of Elonexes, Compacs and Dells with different specs running different versions of Windows. Because the computers initially may be more expensive, but the subsequent OS upgrades are very cheap.

this is all very true, and because of the "uniformity" of configuration makes for a lot less hassle on the guys keeping the security software updated.

the only downside is for some businesses, there are just some things you can't do on macs.


a well-administered thin-client system for windows has about the same ease of maintenance and security, and slightly more flexibility, though its been a while since I ran hard cost numbers.
KoenVdd 2nd June 2010, 16:48 Quote
Getting the distinct feeling I'm not on Phoronix here.
Surprised that they are mainly choosing OS X, since that would force them to buy seriously over priced hardware for everybody. Linux would seem a much cheaper transition.
flibblesan 2nd June 2010, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blood69
Quote "While Mac OS appears to be the operating system of choice"
Quote "Linux is open source and we feel good about it[, but] Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

So, MAC is open source to??????
Don't you feel bad???

A lot of the Mac OS X code is publicly released under the Apple Public Source License (APSL). Apple build upon a lot of BSD code and contribute patches back upstream.

Can you say the same about Windows?
enciem 2nd June 2010, 17:37 Quote
The unnamed source later stated "This has nothing to do with Google developing their own operating system and wanting to bash Microsoft a bit to gain favour"
Nexxo 2nd June 2010, 18:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Given that NHS employees can bag MS Office for about £20 I'd imagine the company itself is paying a similar price for its licenses, no? Still, if you're going to switch 1.3million people over to Macs I guess you'll need to start cutting costs somewhere else ;)
The NHS pays an annual subscription centrally (not sure how much that is). Most of the £20,-- of the Home Licence Scheme is an 'admin fee' for having the DVD sent to you, and is independent of how much the NHS pays for the licensing in the first place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluephoenix
this is all very true, and because of the "uniformity" of configuration makes for a lot less hassle on the guys keeping the security software updated.

the only downside is for some businesses, there are just some things you can't do on macs.
There is not much that the admin side of the NHS needs to do on a PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluephoenix
a well-administered thin-client system for windows has about the same ease of maintenance and security, and slightly more flexibility, though its been a while since I ran hard cost numbers.
I would favour that too, but the last Thin Client systems I saw in the NHS were abominable. They were slow and restrictive because they were badly set up.
pendragon 2nd June 2010, 18:54 Quote
seems like a pretty poor idea to me .. most of Google's client base will be running windows... don't you want to test your product on a system you clients will be using? #fail
Nexxo 2nd June 2010, 19:04 Quote
I'm sure that they will have thought to keep some Windows machines around in the programming labs for testing.
NuTech 2nd June 2010, 19:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragon
seems like a pretty poor idea to me .. most of Google's client base will be running windows... don't you want to test your product on a system you clients will be using? #fail
If you think about it, Google doesn't actually make any Windows-centric software, aside from Gears (which will be disappearing very soon) and Desktop (do they even support that any more?).

Their main interests are their own OS's (Android and ChromeOS), their own browser (Chromium based on Webkit) and of course Web Applications which are about as platform independent as you can get.

No doubt they'll have a variety of Windows machines running various versions of IE, but that will probably only be for testing updates to Gmail etc. You don't need the entire company using Windows just for that.
tristanperry 2nd June 2010, 19:25 Quote
Quote:
Some great articles; I think they sum things up pretty well.
NuTech 2nd June 2010, 19:42 Quote
Quote:
Sorry, but no. The vast majority of the attacks on the internet are designed to target Windows machines (simply because they're the majority). While it may be true that the user is ultimately what determines the integrity of the OS, Google employees aren't exactly the irresponsible/unsavvy type.
tank_rider 2nd June 2010, 19:44 Quote
Roll on hackers all over the world turning their attention to mac OSX, should be interesting to see how long it takes for it to roll over and get blown apart. All those smug mac users who don't run any sort of virus protection etc might want to start checking over their shoulder!
Sloth 2nd June 2010, 19:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
Sorry, but no. The vast majority of the attacks on the internet are designed to target Windows machines (simply because they're the majority). While it may be true that the user is ultimately what determines the integrity of the OS, Google employees aren't exactly the irresponsible/unsavvy type.
That's a pretty vague statement, there. Perhaps you've got some deeper understanding than I do, but it certainly sounds like every Google employee is going to be moving away from Windows. Just working for Google does not mean that all the fine people in human resources, payroll and accounting, legal, public relations, etc. have any anything beyond a basic understanding of how to operate a computer. Being a l33t programmer for Google also does not mean that you won't slip up from time to time. For a company as large as Google it would be foolish to assume that their employees are invulnerable to attacks and deception simply because they work in a certain field.
ZERO <ibis> 2nd June 2010, 20:18 Quote
Maybe too many employees were playing games...
NuTech 2nd June 2010, 20:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
That's a pretty vague statement, there. Perhaps you've got some deeper understanding than I do, but it certainly sounds like every Google employee is going to be moving away from Windows. Just working for Google does not mean that all the fine people in human resources, payroll and accounting, legal, public relations, etc. have any anything beyond a basic understanding of how to operate a computer. Being a l33t programmer for Google also does not mean that you won't slip up from time to time. For a company as large as Google it would be foolish to assume that their employees are invulnerable to attacks and deception simply because they work in a certain field.
Oh no, I wasn't implying that all of Google's employees were ninja-coders. The Symantec article in question was discussing computer users across the board (not just the staff members of technology giants), this includes teenagers, casual computer users, office clowns who send mass emails etc.

My point was, as a whole, I'd hope Google (and other major tech companies) would encourage better computing practises and the average employee would simply know better than the average computer user. So, in comparison, they should be more savvy/responsible.

Several times the Symantec article references attacks originating from phishing emails as their main example of User vs. OS, but again, I just don't think that is the problem Google is trying to get away from.

I may be wrong but I get the impression it's not the random phishing emails that is beginning to worry Google. While they haven't release many details, it looks like the attacks that encouraged them to switch OS's were more focused than that, more active hacks rather than passive emails.
l3v1ck 3rd June 2010, 00:13 Quote
I'd guess this move is more political than practical.
wuyanxu 3rd June 2010, 01:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZERO <ibis>
Maybe too many employees were playing games...
with Steam now on Mac, don't think it solves any problem by moving away from Windows. :)
digitaldave 3rd June 2010, 02:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tank_rider
All those smug mac users who don't run any sort of virus protection etc might want to start checking over their shoulder!

if yo use a end point AV proxy on your network with a AV mail scanner/spam blocker like the cisco small biz device there is no need for anti virus on a linux/unix/osx network.

coupled with a propper hardware firewall/http proxy there is no point in AV scanning on clients, although we use clam AV on the internal mail server but that is just a failsafe.

its not smug, it just works, yes it is expensive compared to the cheaper windoze alternative and there are some (not many) things you cant do on a linux/unix/osx network but if you work around the security issues you can still run a biz without windoze, we have for over 2 years now, the accounts package was the biggest problem but we ended up building our own with filemaker.

dont knock it till you have tried it ;)
robots 3rd June 2010, 04:21 Quote
There is another agenda behind this. Google is evil. I started using Bing today for the time. Reset my homepage to it.
GMX09 3rd June 2010, 05:21 Quote
Why don't they just run Chromium?

Microsoft don't run OS X.
BLC 3rd June 2010, 07:58 Quote
Fact is that no matter what Google chooses to do, they will be slammed by commentators, bloggers, analysts and forum trolls alike.

And I'm not even going to start on about Mac OS X. From the comments on this thread, that's a fight I have got absolutely no hope of winning. Probably not even a slim chance of getting a cogent argument heard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Of course there is no possibility whatsoever that Google may have some valid and informed concerns. I mean, it is not as if they know computers and software any better than we do. It is not as if they employ Top Gun programmers, design applications for a range of OS's, have any experience at developing their own OS's, and make millions at that game.

Oh, wait, hang on, actually they do.

Cry "conspiracy!" all you want, but I know for sure that if I ran the NHS I would ditch all those Windows machines right now and use Macs only. Why? Because they are easy to use by a predominantly computer-unsavvy workforce. Because they are less easy to mess up by people who don't know what they are doing and hence are easier to maintain. Because you don't have to worry about all sorts of ideosyncratic legacy configurations of Elonexes, Compacs and Dells with different specs running different versions of Windows. Because the computers initially may be more expensive, but the subsequent OS upgrades are very cheap. Because they are compact all-in-one boxes, quiet and more easy to clean --a consideration that matters in a hospital.

Then I'd ditch the Office suite and go for something like OpenOffice (or at least iWork: £60,-- vs. £300,-- for MS Office). It's a no-brainer.

As if you needed any more, have some rep.
general22 3rd June 2010, 10:11 Quote
The linked article makes no sense, it sounds more like a cost cutting measure or something to reduce maintenance rather than a security issue.
gavomatic57 3rd June 2010, 10:12 Quote
Good for Google. I for one welcome a large organisation publicly ditching Windows or any Microsoft product. Almost nothing they have done since Vista has impressed me and they just seem to be constantly playing catchup - too large to move as swiftly as its potential customers. It'll be good for MS to lose marketshare - at least 50% of it. It'll force them to try harder, force them to think about whether re-packaging Vista with a couple of UI tweaks and slapping a £100-£200 price tag on it was really a good idea. Maybe reconsider the idea of having half a dozen different editions of the same OS with arbitrary limits placed on the cheaper ones.

You can say what you like about Apple, but when they decided to release a faster version of Leopard with mostly "under the hood" changes, it only cost £30 for a full-featured version. The hardware may be more expensive but now that I have one, I can safely say it has been worth it. Now that Steam has arrived on the Mac, I feel that my days using Windows at home are numbered.

As for Linux - it runs most of the big servers that matter (not to mention Google's own) and the desktop has seen a dramatic improvement over the last 2 years. It gives you a wide variety of choice for literally no cost and even if it wasn't relatively obscure, it would still be very secure given how quickly vulnerabilities are patched and that "UAC" cannot be dumbed-down like it can in Windows 7. As more and more applications make their way into the cloud, the OS underneath is going to be far less important, plus with the announced Steam client, you won't even have to live without games. To dismiss linux or the importance of linux or any unix or unix-like OS is a bit daft. (in my opinion)
songzila 3rd June 2010, 12:49 Quote
straight kick to microsoft face.. no wonder why, cuz linux is more secure .. i myself on ubuntu :)
Rilott 3rd June 2010, 13:03 Quote
Ha! Google are hating Bing so much. Sounds like a backlash but there are probably a few things with getting rid of an operating system for employees that makes compatibility a bit easier.

P.s I completely agree with gavomatic57. Apple hardware is expensive, but the OS is cheap and nicer to look at. Linux certainly has come a long way too, Ubuntu has shot forwards in terms of hardware support. Also, Steam claims to be 5x more efficient on Mac compared to Windows *shocked face*.
flukielukie 3rd June 2010, 13:34 Quote
Seems silly to me, but that's only because I can only really see myself professionally working on Windows or Linux
songzila 3rd June 2010, 13:56 Quote
Ubuntu Interface and software library is growing rapidly.. more users are switching to linux and people are working on techniques to make softwares compatible to ubuntu.
Unicorn 3rd June 2010, 14:02 Quote
Nexxo wins the thread. This is an entirely justifiable move from Google and I'm sure many of you would do the same if you shared their knowledge of the Microsoft OS and the security concerns and requirements that they must deal with.
memeroot 3rd June 2010, 14:05 Quote
unix based os's are the only way forward
crazyceo 3rd June 2010, 15:39 Quote
Just Google starting a pissing contest and nothing more, the anti-microsoft fangirls here just took the bait hook, line and sinker!

"Let's encourage the world of business to move away from the No1 product and then pay extra for something that won't be as secure, just that not too many hackers bother with it!"

Yes, I'm sure the Google shareholders won't be giving it the nod of approval when the bill comes and it's proved that Google has a moon sized omelette on it's face!

And as to the Nexxo comments, spoken with the same anti-microsoft drivel as the Google PR (Why is it these people don't want to be named) employees.
Shagbag 3rd June 2010, 16:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Where is crazyceo?
There ya go. :)
BLC 3rd June 2010, 18:31 Quote
It's like the early 90's, all over again... 50p says I can pee further up the urinal than you.
Sloth 3rd June 2010, 18:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
Oh no, I wasn't implying that all of Google's employees were ninja-coders. The Symantec article in question was discussing computer users across the board (not just the staff members of technology giants), this includes teenagers, casual computer users, office clowns who send mass emails etc.

My point was, as a whole, I'd hope Google (and other major tech companies) would encourage better computing practises and the average employee would simply know better than the average computer user. So, in comparison, they should be more savvy/responsible.

Several times the Symantec article references attacks originating from phishing emails as their main example of User vs. OS, but again, I just don't think that is the problem Google is trying to get away from.

I may be wrong but I get the impression it's not the random phishing emails that is beginning to worry Google. While they haven't release many details, it looks like the attacks that encouraged them to switch OS's were more focused than that, more active hacks rather than passive emails.
I think you're probably right. Just wonder if an OS change is actually something which would protect from a direct attack from a sophisticated hacker, like the Chinese government. At that point is there really a sizable difference between the security of one OS or another? Just looking at coverage from events like Pwn2Own it would seem that a dedicated attacker with a fair amount of resources will have his/her way regardless. I won't claim to know much about hacking, but I do know that a lot of money and a lot of determination gets you almost everywhere.

On an unrelated note, sounds like they're giving people a choice of OS X or Linux. I think that's pretty cool.
NuTech 3rd June 2010, 20:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
I think you're probably right. Just wonder if an OS change is actually something which would protect from a direct attack from a sophisticated hacker, like the Chinese government. At that point is there really a sizable difference between the security of one OS or another? Just looking at coverage from events like Pwn2Own it would seem that a dedicated attacker with a fair amount of resources will have his/her way regardless. I won't claim to know much about hacking, but I do know that a lot of money and a lot of determination gets you almost everywhere.

On an unrelated note, sounds like they're giving people a choice of OS X or Linux. I think that's pretty cool.
Well, I think there are a couple ways to look at it. Is the knowledge and tools for hacking Windows more prevalent? Most definitely. Would MacOS/Linux hold up better under attack using the equivalent knowledge and tools? I don't know, but I'm don't think this is a 'PR stunt' by Google (contrary to the majority of the replies in this topic).

For a company that big to go about changing so much of their IT infrastructure, which even ignoring staff training is still a momentously huge task, they must have good reason.

This whole thing reminds of a funny analogy I heard on the internet somewhere. They described the difference between Windows and MacOS security like so: Windows is a house with the best security system, bars on the windows and doors and a mean dog, but it's in a horrible neighbourhood. MacOS is a house with all the windows and doors wide open but it's in the middle of nowhere.

Make of that what you will. :)
gavomatic57 3rd June 2010, 22:27 Quote
Google's servers are all running linux, so far from being a pissing contest, it makes good sense to be working on the same platform that provides the bulk of their income. Their bread & butter is web applications and search - neither needs Windows and neither needs IE because they have Chrome. Thanks to Web Standards and HTML5, which IE blissfully ignores, a standards compliant browser is all you need to make sure your web apps look as they should - luckily Chrome and Safari both score 100% on ACID3. If something ends up looking wrong on IE, they simply need to flash up a message saying this browser is not supported, best switch to Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox etc

OSX may not be completely open source, but Darwin the UNIX system that the fancy bits of OSX run on is - to google that is a big improvement on the Windows environment. Safari runs on Webkit which is also open source.

They're still going to have a couple of Windows machines for testing apparently, but it'll be interesting to see what happens with the Picasa and Chrome binaries on Windows...
DXR_13KE 4th June 2010, 00:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbag
There ya go. :)

damn... and here i was expecting he was gone... ow well.
crazyceo 4th June 2010, 02:53 Quote
What and leave all the anti-microsoft fangirls to vent their spleens unchecked?

Sorry but someone has to tell you all to STFU and stop brainfarting!
DXR_13KE 4th June 2010, 16:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
What and leave all the anti-microsoft fangirls to vent their spleens unchecked?

Sorry but someone has to tell you all to STFU and stop brainfarting!

So... if you define people that don't like microsoft as "anti-microsoft fangirls", what is your definition for your... love... for microsoft?
tristanperry 4th June 2010, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
What and leave all the anti-microsoft fangirls to vent their spleens unchecked?

Sorry but someone has to tell you all to STFU and stop brainfarting!
I think that Vista was useless and whilst I quite like Windows 7, I prefer using Ubuntu (I think that Windows is inefficient and slower than other OSes).

Just wondering what your definition of an "anti-microsoft fangirl" therefore is? (Since I use/used Windows with an open mind when I form/formed an opinion)

And also out of interest, which is your favourite Windows OS, Apple OS and Linux-based OS? And which is your favourite out of them and why?
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo

"Let's encourage the world of business to move away from the No1 product and then pay extra for something that won't be as secure, just that not too many hackers bother with it!"
"pay extra"? (Most) Linux-based OSes are free?

I prefer Ubuntu to Windows 7, and the former is free. Win-win.

Plus Ubuntu *is* more secure, as things stand. That's not to say it has no security issues (nothing can ever be 100% secure), but as things stand it's more secure. And quicker. And free. Win-win-win. IMO.
DXR_13KE 5th June 2010, 02:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanperry
I think that Vista was useless and whilst I quite like Windows 7, I prefer using Ubuntu (I think that Windows is inefficient and slower than other OSes).

Just wondering what your definition of an "anti-microsoft fangirl" therefore is? (Since I use/used Windows with an open mind when I form/formed an opinion)

And also out of interest, which is your favourite Windows OS, Apple OS and Linux-based OS? And which is your favourite out of them and why?


"pay extra"? (Most) Linux-based OSes are free?

I prefer Ubuntu to Windows 7, and the former is free. Win-win.

Plus Ubuntu *is* more secure, as things stand. That's not to say it has no security issues (nothing can ever be 100% secure), but as things stand it's more secure. And quicker. And free. Win-win-win. IMO.

Pandora's box is open... quick! get the popcorn!
1ad7 5th June 2010, 10:11 Quote
Microsoft needs to hope google comes out with a full blown desktop os when the move to that and when the crashes make windows ME look stable google will shut its doors.
gavomatic57 5th June 2010, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ad7
Microsoft needs to hope google comes out with a full blown desktop os when the move to that and when the crashes make windows ME look stable google will shut its doors.

If a Google OS fails, they'll still have search and their apps. If a Microsoft OS fails, all of their Windows only software fails too. Lets be honest, who is using Bing?
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