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Last post Author Topic: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns  (Read 7166 times)

Paul Keith

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Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« on: May 31, 2010, 07:30:19 PM »
http://www.ft.com/cm...c8-00144feab49a.html

Quote
Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees.

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

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

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

New hires are now given the option of using Apple’s Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. “Linux is open source and we feel good about it,” said one employee. “Microsoft we don’t feel so good about.”

In early January, some new hires were still being allowed to install Windows on their laptops, but it was not an option for their desktop computers. Google would not comment on its current policy.

Windows is known for being more vulnerable to attacks by hackers and more susceptible to computer viruses than other operating systems.

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.

In addition to being a semi-formal policy, employees themselves have grown more concerned about security since the China attacks. “Particularly since the China scare, a lot of people here are using Macs for security,” said one employee.

Employees said it was also an effort to run the company on Google’s own products, including its forthcoming Chrome OS, which will compete with Windows. “A lot of it is an effort to run things on Google product,” the employee said. “They want to run things on Chrome.”

The hacking in China hastened the move. “Before the security, there was a directive by the company to try to run things on Google products,” said the employee. “It was a long time coming.”

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. But 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.

Google and Microsoft compete on many fronts, from search, to web-based email, to operating systems.

While Google is the clear leader in search, Windows remains the most popular operating system in the world by a large margin, with various versions accounting for more than 80 per cent of installations, according to research firm Net Applications.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Eóin

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 07:52:43 PM »
All I will say is Google "macs easier to hack". Anecdotal evidence perhaps but I'd trust it a hell of a lot more than Apples marketing or Jobs' fanboys/apologists.

Josh

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 08:18:13 PM »
All I will say is Google "macs easier to hack". Anecdotal evidence perhaps but I'd trust it a hell of a lot more than Apples marketing or Jobs' fanboys/apologists.

 :Thmbsup:

+1

Paul Keith

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2010, 09:12:48 PM »
True but I think such link is missing the context of the article. (Although that is not to say I disagree with the link/links)

To quote the article: It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows.

That said, I just copy pasted the link as soon as I read it and I'm not sure of the validity of the article.

rgdot

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2010, 09:48:06 PM »
Reminds me of series of articles in eWeek where few editors switched to macs for a year or so and noted down their thoughts  like this

Quote
My Apple journey started as a test of whether and when Apple hardware and software had a place in a mostly-Windows corporate world. In the year since, I've come to appreciate computer systems that just work, and my switchover has been eased by products such as Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition. With that said, however, Mac desktop and notebook systems are still a departmental, not an enterprise, concern for IT managers

What are they really gaining productivity wise, surely the number one issue 'in the enterprise' and what of the repeated notion that security is in the hands of the user



lanux128

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2010, 09:51:46 PM »
it looks like Google is looking for an excuse to move away from Microsoft products.. :-\

app103

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 10:01:06 PM »
Either Google is not telling the complete truth and will be running Windows, at least in a VM, or they have plans on releasing future versions of their Chrome browser (and other software) for Windows, without them ever having been tested on Windows.

mouser

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2010, 12:07:24 AM »
feels like just another excuse to pile on microsoft and try to grab more marketshare for themselves.  more and more it feels like google is playing the role of benevolent mafia boss -- helping out as long as it grabs its cut off the top of every deal, muscling in to every business anyone tries to set up, and using whatever means it has to in order to push the competition out of its way.  microsoft did this kind of stuff in it's prime and wasn't nearly as good at disguising it as google is, but it feels to me like we are trading one mafia boss for another, and i'm not happy about it.

Renegade

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2010, 07:43:53 AM »
I'm not so sure that licensing costs really matter that much. What is $100 per year for a license for a productivity machine used by someone that makes $80,000 a year? Nothing!

There's no way it's a licensing fee issue.

Put it this way, if you need to train people on an operating system that nobody knows (like OS X), you're going to need to pay for that training. Now, can you train someone for a new OS for less than the price of a Windows license? Unlikely.

I bought a Mac, planning to do development, and so far I find it much more resistant to getting things done than Windows. I can pull up a nice, easy GUI in Windows, but to get the same thing done in OS X I have to drop down to the COMMAND LINE!

Now, the command line is great, but seriously, you have to be brain dead to think that most people want to use it. It's massively intimidating.

For email and surfing, the Mac is ok. Windows is actually far better for multimedia consumption though. (OS X video handling is very poor compared to Windows -- try seeking inside of a video to find out why.)

So far, I find everything on OS X is just less than Windows counter-parts. It looks nice, but that's about it. (http://microsoft2apple.com/ - mostly rants.)

Nah. I have to go with the common assumption there that Google is simply doing it as a strategic move to undermine Microsoft. Windows is more secure than OS X and many other operating systems. Windows is more secure than Solaris out of the box. Solaris can be hardened, but its default installation isn't secure like Windows.

The biggest security issue is idiocy, and not the operating system. In light of that, the cynical side of me wants to reiterate: Windows is more secure than OS X. :P (There are actual studies about computer choices and personalities, and Mac users come out as arrogant plus a few other undesirable traits -- I forget -- maybe someone remembers.)

You cannot protect an idiot that insists on clicking on "super-sexo-matic.exe" in their email inbox, or someone that thinks they're getting a cut of Prince Ubugabe's $50 million fortune that's tied up in a secret bank account in Africa. They are hopeless.

If Google desktops are getting hacked in China, then it's their own fault. There's no excuse for any corporate computer to get hacked. Ever. That just reeks of an incompetent IT team or idiocy behind the keyboard. Which is it?

Nah. Choosing an OS that nobody knows enough about and where everything is difficult is a great way to increase security. There's a phrase for it. Security through obscurity. That's the only benefit of moving away from Windows.

Erm... I think that was kind of ranty...
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Josh

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2010, 07:49:17 AM »
I would like to mention that I have been running Windows 7, and prior to that Windows Vista, without an antivirus on all of my home machines (6+) for 4 years now. No viruses, no infections.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2010, 07:55:27 AM »
You cannot protect an idiot that insists on clicking on "super-sexo-matic.exe" in their email inbox

You can if they are on MacOS or Linux ;)

This might actually be good news for Microsoft - if Google promotes MacOS and Linux they are bound to become bigger targets for malware and then the dirty truth that Apple and Linux fanboys constantly try to gloss over will be out there!

Renegade

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2010, 08:15:52 AM »
You cannot protect an idiot that insists on clicking on "super-sexo-matic.exe" in their email inbox

You can if they are on MacOS or Linux ;)

This might actually be good news for Microsoft - if Google promotes MacOS and Linux they are bound to become bigger targets for malware and then the dirty truth that Apple and Linux fanboys constantly try to gloss over will be out there!

Hahaha~!

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Eóin

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2010, 10:07:04 AM »
The oft quoted "Apple has a smaller market share and so is less of a target" of course is true. But only for certains types of attack, like the above mentioned "super-sexo-matic.exe" :D

But the Chinese hacks were a different breed altogether, they weren't directed at Windows OS, they were directed at Goggle the company. The only way to protect yourself from such a thing is the use the most secure OS, switching to any other is little more than security through obscurity.

And frankly, if Google was really making the switch for security reasons they wouldn't be offering ordinary employees the choice between Mac or Linux, rather their security experts would research the one true 'best' and tell everyone else in the company to use it.

nudone

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2010, 10:20:49 AM »
using Bing instead of Google is now starting to sound like a compelling argument to me.

40hz

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2010, 10:52:03 AM »
So why aren't they migrating to Chrome OS?

I seem to recall them saying that's where the future of OS was going.   :P

First rule of real system-level product development: "Eat your own dogfood."  

superboyac

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2010, 11:17:27 AM »
So why aren't they migrating to Chrome OS?

I seem to recall them saying that's where the future of OS was going.   :P

First rule of real system-level product development: "Eat your own dogfood."   
I was just thinking the same thing.  Nice avatar, by the way.

mouser

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2010, 11:42:13 AM »
Quote
First rule of real system-level product development: "Eat your own dogfood."  

no, first rule is infiltrate the market as deeply and broadly as possible, even if you lose money on the effort.
rule two is de-legitimize the competitor's product and soften up the market.
rule three is roll out your alternative product.
god i feel like a paranoid nut.

tomos

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2010, 11:44:47 AM »
Quote
First rule of real system-level product development: "Eat your own dogfood." 

no, first rule is infiltrate the market as deeply and broadly as possible, even if you lose money on the effort.
rule two is de-legitimize the competitor's product and soften up the market.
rule three is roll out your alternative product.
god i feel like a paranoid nut.

No mouser, they'll be headhunting you next :D
Tom

mouser

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2010, 11:59:54 AM »
you don't get it yet.. i have a google 4CF-A contract.
that means i am paid to bad mouth them and drum up fear and paranoia.
then when they are ready they will broadcast a special transmission that only my left molar tooth receiver can detect, and i will flip positions and proclaim loudly that i was wrong and they are really the most nicest good hearted, not at all motivated by profit company ever created -- and in the process convince everyone who had been listening to my rants that they were also wrong about google.

(by the way if you are curious, the 4CF-B contract employees receive the same signal but when they receive it they are tasked with doubling-down on their paranoia and claiming that google is run by aliens from the planet jupiter and that google maps is just a cook book farming map, an in the process convincing the public that only the clinically insane don't like google).
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 12:08:10 PM by mouser »

AndyM

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2010, 12:03:04 PM »
god i feel like a paranoid nut.
no, just appropriately cynical

Stoic Joker

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2010, 12:35:15 PM »
So all we really need is a Mac port of the SnowWhite bugg (with looser file type restrictions) turned loose in G world so we can be done with this nonsense.

40hz

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2010, 12:43:21 PM »
Nice avatar, by the way.

Good friend did it up for me. Would you like his e-mail?  ;) ;D

40hz

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2010, 01:07:15 PM »
Quote
First rule of real system-level product development: "Eat your own dogfood."  

no, first rule is infiltrate the market as deeply and broadly as possible, even if you lose money on the effort.
rule two is de-legitimize the competitor's product and soften up the market.
rule three is roll out your alternative product.
god i feel like a paranoid nut.

You're probably right. But in my defense, I'm a bit old fashioned. I go back to a time when your product was supposed to be ready for release before it actually got released.

weasel.JPG  I think the businesses of America should create a national monument to the attorney who wrote the first NO EXPLICIT OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR PURPOSE clause.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 01:08:50 PM by 40hz »

superboyac

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2010, 01:08:14 PM »
Nice avatar, by the way.

Good friend did it up for me. Would you like his e-mail?  ;) ;D
No thanks.  I can probably do it better myself.  Does he have any hot sisters?

mnemonic

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Re: Google Ditches Windows on Security Concerns
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2010, 01:39:37 PM »
So why aren't they migrating to Chrome OS?   

I assume that their development tools aren't web based.