Windows optimize

Google dumps Windows: Would you do the same?

Google is moving away from Microsoft Windows on internal computers. Is your organization considering a similar move?

On Monday, the Financial Times reported that Google will no longer allow employees to use Microsoft Windows on all but a select few internal machines. In the past, new employees were able to choose between Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Going forward, employees won't be able to stay on Windows or get a new Windows machine without approval from approval from senior management.

According to Google employees quoted in the Financial Times story, two factors are driving the policy change--security and a desire to run Google on Google products. After the attack on Google's China operations earlier this year, the company began phasing out internal use of Microsoft Windows. Google also wants to begin running the company on its own products--chiefly Chrome OS.

I'm sure there's some truth to both reasons given for the switch, but there's also a fair bit of Google PR here. The company gets a chance to promote their own OS and take a pot shot at its main rival--Windows.

But, it's not Google's move away from Windows that interests me. I'm much more interested to know if members of the TechRepublic audience are considering similar moves, and not just in the arena of desktop operating systems. Is your organization considering a totally new email, CRM solution, telecom, sales, or office suite system? If you're moving off a system that's been in place for many years, what's driving such a radical change--cost, flexibility, ROI? Take the poll and let me know.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

151 comments
tierwarm1
tierwarm1

A new way of coming out with it's own operating system but yet still have all the compabilties with windows, also another way of google having a bigger brand name to increase finances

tracy anne
tracy anne

Yes, Absolutely. Currently doing all I can to achieve that goal.

zclayton2
zclayton2

Can't you have an "I Wish" or "They need to"?

sar10538
sar10538

hasn't anyone thought about recycling!

mickey
mickey

We did away with Microsoft over a year ago and went to Linux, Ubuntu and Fedora Core. Since then, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is down approx 40 percent. Not one crash, lockup, Hacker break-in, malware or software issue in over a year. That's reliability. Something that could never be said when we were using Microsoft. . .

MISDude-E
MISDude-E

I refuse to let my kids use Windows for security reasons. Kids and I use Linux. They are growing up with it and learning it. Eventually they'll know their distro better than Windows.

jbarton
jbarton

it's about the money, if you have a choice why continue to use your competitor's product?

VytautasB
VytautasB

Two important facts are little mentioned when discussing security and Microsoft. Both China (in 2007) and Russia (in 2003) have signed Goverment security agreements under Microsoft's Government Security Program. One of the benefits of the program is getting access to MS OS SOURCE CODE. Need I say more?

techytype
techytype

The choices offered in the "survey" didn't seem to include combinations. I believe Google is doing this (dumping Windows) for all reason cited: Public Relations, Security and using their own OS (or as others would say "eating their own dog food") All reasons are intertwined with one another. They can't really be separated as if each doesn't affect the other. One additional reason may also be a factor, to save money. Again not all by itself, in combination with previous reason and likely others which haven't been discussed.

coolguy.lentz
coolguy.lentz

I think Google dumped windows is because there os is slow ans suckish (my opinion) I personally would love to have a mac but because i got fired due to the budget crises i cant afford one and is forced to run windows on my computer and SOMETIMES runs mac os on a vm

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

This is a real joke. A bunch of idiots using IE6 at Google caused the original problem. So what was Google doing with an older version of IE - even Microsoft says is not secure? If they were using IE8, nothing would of happened. Why is it that only new hires will get the replacement and not current users? Those [like me] who consider themselves should NEVER get hit with any malware. We should know better. If they don't like IE6, disable it [quite easy].

jeslurkin
jeslurkin

Don't see why they would _have_ to dump MSWin in order to use Chrome OS.

Regulus
Regulus

I would thing that this is a corporate statement to the world that you do not really 'need' or have to have Windows.

jimmeq
jimmeq

You will turn on the device of your choice, it will provide all you want to do from Internet services. Just enough of an OS on the device to converse with Internet data. I wish I had money in Google, they might be the Microsoft of the 90's.

dutch_gemini
dutch_gemini

I would if I could find a driver for my Lexmark x4550 WiFi printer that allows me cable free printing (the reason for me buying this one). Unfortunately, Lexmark doesn't provide one (only Mac + Win) so I'm stuck with Win XP.

BoundlessData
BoundlessData

When any OS becomes the most used, it will also become the most hacked. It is a matter of numbers. You simply can't sell what you won't use. Until someone shows me something better and more compatible with all my apps, I can only use and sell Windows.

AceNewsService
AceNewsService

I am pleased that this has happened and added similar comment to Techme but my reasons are that for a while security has been so lacks on windows. My XP machine has had numerous breaches of security brought about by windows. Since adding googlechrome browser l have only a lot less, as self patching is done automatically. I like the fact that l am asked if l would like to add this facility or extension instead of being told by windows that you have to have, or they will not put on the update. Or it just goes blank only yesterday applied for a secondary back-up and was directed to firefox3.6, not internet explorer so l have added this ready for removing windows as soon as possible. As googlechrome does not yet support a number of business toolbars. My intention eventually is to add the google os system if l can and use googleapps for business and just waiting. Otherwise l will replace my computer and have googleos installed already. My feelings about windows are clear so if they are doing it for security, public-relations or chrome, good luck to them. Regards, Ian

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

I think Google is moving off of MS products for financial reasons. If you are dependent on a rivals products then they have the advantage. Just ask Novell. Bill

arzeth
arzeth

Download some Windows 2000 source code that is leaked to internet. It is very terrible. Windows 7 has more people, more code. It is not open source. So there are more security holes. Read last Linux changelog: http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/ChangeLog-2.6.34 (4-6MB). It is developed by a lot of people. I am using Linux and I love it though I hated Linux (after month of using) long ago.

DoCAnalyst
DoCAnalyst

It's just Google flexing its muscles, to even make a public statement about it shows Google's intention to make this a PR stunt and marketing. How many companies out there would move from Windows and then have a press release about it as if the whole world cared what OS they used.

zerone01
zerone01

Google is getting ready to build there own IT stronghold. When they come alive with that.. everything else will be replaced. Take a look at what they have recently researched and built, what they have recently acquired... Global People, my friends, it is time to get ready for a, highly centralized, mostly server processed, all-in-one IT environment! Await, a Google Conversion from device level to software! Windows just wont fit in, unless they reposition themselves, same will apply to Facebook.

IT_ShortBus
IT_ShortBus

It's a combination of all three; either choice ways the same to me. It's going to be interesting to watch.

pwabbit
pwabbit

Our company would love to drop Windows. The problem is, our big customers force us the run Windows and use IE. They don't care to allow alternate methods of dealing with them. It's either Windows or take a hike. They admitted that MS provided pricing on the software that they couldn't refuse (free). Smart move by MS. Provide the big Corps with free software which forces the little guy to buy MS products.

eric
eric

Product Activation, The new versions of Windows, 7 and Vista all require product activation EVEN ON VOLUME LICENSE COPYS. This obviously does not fit with many corporations around the world and Google is one of them. A lot of value of the product is lost when you have to rely on a third party to get the software to work, especially an operating system.

Dknopp
Dknopp

Sure there is always PR involvded in any anouncment, it would be a waste not to advertise anything positive about your company. But any company that is pushing their own operating system and does not use that system almost exclusively is showing that it is not a mature enough opsys to use. There is no surprise here on google dumping windows. Why would they not?

ezeze5000
ezeze5000

I have been using Ubuntu Linux on most of my PC's and laptops for the last 6 years. I don't have the virus problem, or need to re-boot every time there is an update.

SeenItBefore
SeenItBefore

Having just looked at Chrome OS, it is less like shooting yourself in the foot and more like blowing your leg off at the hip. What idiots. I wouldn't be surprised if they loaded all the Macs with Vmware fusion and put Windows XP or 7 in emulation to get away from the viruses. I mean why can't Google secure their firewalls and routers? what are they, stupid? If they can't figure this out their IT department should be fired.

maddoghall
maddoghall

The vote of reasons Google was "dumping Windows" was an either/or vote. It should have had an entry for "all three". I think if a company can not use their own products then they should not be advocating other companies and people to use them. Personally I have not used Microsoft products for the past fifteen years, and I tend not to use products based on software I can not change. The second question of whether or not I was thinking about dumping a "major supplier" does not really apply, as I try not to have any "major suppliers" that I absolutely depend on, trying to be flexible in my purchasing decisions. But I am a "small shop" and have that luxury.

donran
donran

It is high time a large organisation such as Google took this action. Hope others follow similar action in their organisations. Microsoft introduces an OS almost every two years to make large sums of money, instead of improving on an existing OS and charging customers accordingly for the improvements. No matter what OS Microsoft produces, once it gets global hackers take full advantage of its weaknesses. Therefore, what is the point of having one most popular OS which gives opportunity to hackers. My view is that there should be many popular operating systems so that hackers have the least opportunity in finding which one to attack.

munyendo
munyendo

Charity begins at home. It does not make sense for google to be using Microsoft OS if they have their own. Secondly, as google is gaining ground on mobile computing they would obviously take on Microsoft

dinotech
dinotech

Most of the time a yes or no answer has to be followed up with a presentation as to why Windows or why Linux or why switch. That presentation has to impress a lot of people. Sometimes you can't do it because of time constraints for a project. You stick with Windows or Linux because if you move from that direction, it costs time and money, including training, installing, configuring, etc. So it's never a yes or no answer. I don't think anything in IT ends in yes or no without a major discussion.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Those of us who can't easily afford Windows licenses. Please donate.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"not one crash, lockup, hacker breack-in, malwarey.." Did you have criminal break-ins previous to migrating to Ubuntu/Fedora? (Hacker is not really the right word unless you happen to by hiring third party penetration tests.)

dinotech
dinotech

I started to play around with Ubuntu in a VM. With QEMU or Xen VM, you can host your Windows OS within Linux. It works for Mac. It's not that Windows is a "bad" product; it's huge, wiht ten million plus lines of code. All that code has to work together and if the environment (resources, dlls, etc) is not right you have a GPF or BSOD. Also, the hardware being used is getting better but still needs improvement. Apples' success banks on the hardware. There have been attempts to clone Macs but that failed miserably (and it has failed in the PC market too). I trust only two motherboard brands Asus and MSI. Asus is the best for high end computers and MSI is good quality for price. I'm still looking at Linux as a solid alternative to what people want to accomplish but I still sell Microsoft products - I'm confident in my skill set and knowledge of Microsoft products to make sure they are running smooth. Good job mickey on the implementation of Linux. It's nice to see a shop that has a good Linux base.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Google Chrome is a web browser application based on Chromium. It installs like Firefox or any other browser not inseparable from the OS platform. ChromeOS is an operating system. It has it's own bootup, kernel, minimal userland which uses Google Chrome with modifications as the user interface. Everything done on the platform is done through the Google Chrome interface. Imagine Windows booting up and instead of a desktop, all you got was IE (no - [] X buttons in the corner). Windows is an OS and as such, has to be replaced or dual-booted along side ChromeOS although it may run the Google Chrome web browser.

dwdino
dwdino

is that now you are dependent for processing/information from 3rd parties entirely. You can do nothing if they aren't available. Suppose you have a dispute with your ISP, they disconnect service. You are dead in the water. Or perhaps another "cloud" desides to drop something you rely upon. You are dead in the water. I believe the best solution will be "cloud" availability with local processing. If I need it, I can grab it. If I want to be disconnected and generate or consume, I can.

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Then they used that to leverage Microsoft into giving them, or rather selling them Windows for about one dollar a license. Why would China switch from a home developed product to the biggest evil in western society? It's cheaper to develop and support a single operating system. Why do things 3 times when you can do them once? Bill

snideley59
snideley59

Never bought an upgrade license yet. Always donated my last legal copy to friends' children, my mom or someone when I was done with it. Of course, when I upgrade my OS, it has always been concurrent with buying new hardware, so the old hardware usually goes down the hand me down path as well. Not a believer in software piracy. It was hard to write, so the developers should be compensated in some way. I even donate to freeware software if I like the application. Dan

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

I love Linux and I run Ubuntu in a very regular hardware, but I have serious issues with drivers. I don't find or have drivers for a quad audio non-linear capture card, I don't have the drivers for a Matrox Video capture card, I don't have the drivers for one 8 port Firewire PCI-Express card, and the list is getting more extensive. I'm about to run out of options. With windows, most of the times I found the drivers in the drivers download section or for example, xp drivers works well in VISTA /7 in some cases with some tuning. Even a friend "created" a driver for one Dual Wireless N Extender card for linux but the pc start making funny stuff.

VytautasB
VytautasB

Source about Russia from email subscribtion: NEWS: RUSSIA FIRST COUNTRY TO VIEW WINDOWS SOURCE CODE Microsoft has announced that Russia will be the first country to view the source code for Windows under the Government Security Program (GSP), a plan the company revealed earlier this month. http://www.secadministrator.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=37732 Regarding the announcement about the agreement with China. This was annoucned by MS at a conference which I attended in Redmond (Microsoft HQ) in 2007. If I remember correctly the argument was that this was a precondition for MS entering the Chinese market.

jeslurkin
jeslurkin

...that I think they could use MSWin, as well as Chrome OS, if they saw a reason to.

snideley59
snideley59

I like "idle conjecture" myself. Although leverage, paradigm and "ultimately scalable" make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. What is "ultimately scalable", anyway? And, most opinions are unfounded. Unfortunately, the ones that are "founded" get mostly ignored since they aren't newsworthy. It's the ones that are composed of fluff and out of context quotations that get the most airplay. Good post Dan

dinotech
dinotech

It says: "view the source code for Windows under the Government Security Program (GSP), a plan the company revealed earlier this month." Governments who do not operate on personal freedoms like we do have certain "polices" in place for information technology due to the widespread piracy and hacking. We will NEVER know what the definition of "view" is, and if you think that Ballmer is going to hand over the code to the Russians, you don't know the man. It's part of MS being humbled by anti-trust suits and such. I read the article from Microsoft's website and it doesn't give license for them to alter the code, only to view it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Russian state programmers were "hacking" the code so Microsoft can fix the problems. Since we expect attacks from Russia and China, no one would question it. However, my opinion is unfounded, so it is conjecture at best. There, I got to use the word "conjecture" I loved that word in High School. It ranks up there with words like "gnarly" and "flabbergasted" In any rate, I don't think there is more to this story than what it states.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It sounded like you where asking why they would have to dump Windows to run Google Chrome rather than Chrome OS. If it was just about having Chrome OS available for testing then they could provide applicable staff with two machines each running one of the platforms. With the allowance of osX, it's definitely not about security from targeted attacks. I'd have to agree with a blend of PR, running there own products, internal testing and financial reasons.