Google is phasing out Windows

Friday, June 04, 2010

Anton Aylward


"According to a report in the Financial Times, Google are phasing out the use of Microsoft's Windows within the company because of security concerns. Citing several Google employees, the FT report reports that new hires are offered the option of using Apple Mac systems or PCs running Linux. The move is believed to be related to a directive issued after Google's Chinese operations were attacked in January. In that attack, Chinese hackers took advantage of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer on a Windows PC used by a Google employee and from there gained deeper access to Google's single sign on service.
Security as a business decision? Don't make me laugh! Look at what precedence they've shown! Look at Microsoft's attitude and approach to security (no matter how flawed the end result) and compare it with the public stance Google has taken. No, this is about Business Politics. Microsoft has been 'staggering' this last decade and now Apple is on the ascendency and the real battle will no longer be in the PC world but in the consumer world with embedded systems. On the surface this will be Android vs Apple, but since embedded Linux goes so much further, embedded in TVs, GPS units, traffic light controllers, and perhaps it will even replace UNIX in telephone exchanges (ha-ha-ha!) there's more potential. (Freudian slip: I just wrote portential.) Yes, Microsoft hasn't been asleep in the embedded market, or the phone/PDA market, but compared to Linux its a resource hog. To top that, its also proprietary, so vendors rely on Microsoft for the porting to new processor/hardware and for support. Linux/Android doesn't have that limitation. And there are plenty of 'kiddies' eager to play with Android (source) on a new toy. No, this isn't a security issue, its a business and political issue. If Google is pushing its range of Android products then it doesn't want to have people - journalists, investors, bloggers - saying "yes, but you USE Windows even though you preach Linux". Or perhaps you though Google was taking the "High Moral Ground"? No, I think they are taking the advice of Sun T'Zu and applying it to business
"For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards."
Betcha Google will be supplying Android phones/slates/pads to its workers.
"He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious."
Look at that ZDNet article and think about the timing of Google's announcement.
"It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used."
Think about that one.
"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."
And look how Android is spreading. Balmer said Linux was a virus - yes a "meme".
"Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy."

Indeed. Microsoft has proclaimed a commitment to "security". Bill Gates said so. That is their "strategy". But Google is working on the fact that Microsoft products still have security flaws. Regardless of the reality, that is "voice" of this announcement. They are saying that Microsoft's strategy isn't working. They are attacking it in the minds of the consumers.

(Cross posted from

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