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Google Reportedly Ditching Windows

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the it's-ok-microsofties-use-bing dept.

Google 1003

Reader awyeah notes a Financial Times report that Google is ditching the use of Windows internally. Some blogs have picked up the FT piece but so far there isn't any other independent reporting of the claim, which is based on comments from anonymous Googlers. One indication of possibly hasty reporting is the note that Google "employs more than 10,000 workers internationally," whereas it's easy enough to find official word that the total exceeds 20,000. "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. ... 'We're not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,' said one Google employee. ... 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.' ... 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."

cancel ×

1003 comments

Flamebait (5, Insightful)

Cougem (734635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413098)

'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.'

However, they feel pretty good about a closed-source implementation of an open source operating system on locked-in hardware? This sounds rather flamebaity and very light on facts.

Re:Flamebait (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413112)

You're right: google should give all employees an iPad.

Re:Flamebait (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413212)

I think they want their employees to do serious work, not goof around with a gadget all day. Remember, the only serious thing an iPad is good for is serious content consumption.

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413338)

Well it is locked down. And if there is a breach they can sue The Messiah himself. /sarcasm

Re:Flamebait (3, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413122)

Well, that's because Google is entirely populated by the hipster artsy types that /. maintains is the only type of Apple user. No informed users, no intelligent selection by PhD graduates, no conceivable advantage. No sir.

Simon.

Re:Flamebait (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413502)

Google can do whatever they please, if they choose Mac OS/Linux over Windows so be it.

Re:Flamebait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413154)

This sounds rather flamebaity and very light on facts.

Actually, it sounds like the perfect story for kdawson.

Re:Flamebait (5, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413170)

Well, I think they're headed to ChromeOS long-term. While this particular report may be true or not since it's based on anonymous sources, Eric Schmidt himself said that this would be Google's response during the Atmosphere event. He also indicated that they're moving toward eating their own dog food at every level, and that wasin or around a discussion of ChromeOS (I'm going from memory). I took the interview as a whole to be an indication that Google wanted to move to ChromeOS and Apps for as much of the internal stuff as it could.

Here is a report of the interview: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20002315-265.html [cnet.com]

Re:Flamebait (5, Informative)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413196)

Aaaand ... after reading TFA, it confirms ChromeOS and dogfooding:

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.”

Re:Flamebait (3, Interesting)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413206)

Eric Schmidt must have a short memory. Wasn't he still at Sun when they tried the "eat your own dog food" approach with Solaris there?

Whatever the technical virtues of Solaris, it turned out to be a miserable environment for the kind of productivity apps your typical office droid needed to have access to. We'll see how long it takes Google to start frantically doing the back-stroke.

Re:Flamebait (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413322)

What kind of productivity apps does the average office droid need, in your opinion?

Which of these is absolutely unavailable through an alternative open-source or web-based solution?

Re:Flamebait (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413460)

You can run Office on a Mac. You can run iWork on a Mac. You can run NeoOffice on a Mac. You can run OpenOffice on Linux. Gmail or Zimbra can probably do nearly everything that they'd maybe need Exchange for, but I doubt Google used Exchange in the first place. Most of their engineers will probably pick Linux, and most of their "office droids" will probably get a Mac by default. A modern Linux or MacOS X desktop is hardly an Ultra5 with Solaris 8 with nasty purple CDE pretending XEmacs is a word processor.

Developers on ChromeOS? (5, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413458)

Tell me... what IDE runs on ChromeOS? Where's the Emacs for Android? When I see that, we'll talk. Until then, I don't think that Google's going to be able to migrate it's most vital employees (engineers) to "eat their own dogfood." Might be interesting to migrate support staff, but that's not where the heart of Google is.

Re:Developers on ChromeOS? (3, Informative)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413532)

Tell me... what IDE runs on ChromeOS? Where's the Emacs for Android? When I see that, we'll talk. Until then, I don't think that Google's going to be able to migrate it's most vital employees (engineers) to "eat their own dogfood." Might be interesting to migrate support staff, but that's not where the heart of Google is.

Well.... since ChromeOS is built on Ubuntu [computerworld.com] I'll bet that anything that runs on Ubuntu should run on ChromeOS.

Re:Flamebait (-1, Troll)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413186)

This will make Mac a much bigger target for hackers. Hopefully Apple will be a little more prompt with security updates than they have in the past.

Re:Flamebait (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413314)

yes, 10,000 extra users is practically doubling their userbase!

Re:Flamebait (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413466)

I would consider Google development and infrastructure a high value target. A move like this also just generally raises the profile of both OS X and Linux.

Re:Flamebait (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413558)

It was meant as sarcasm but I should have figured the apple mod douche bags wouldn't get it.

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413512)

This will make Mac a much bigger target for hackers.

Er, what? If every Google employee switched to a Mac (which isn't going to happen), that'd only be 20,000 more Macs out there. BFD.

And if it's the "being installed by a major corporation" factor that made you say that, I have news for you: Macs are already in plenty of major corporations, and have been for years. I can personally vouch for two Fortune 100 companies for which my employer provides Mac support.

Because the market is much larger today, Macs have lower marketshare now than their heyday back in the early to mid 90s, but there are far more Macs in use today than there were then. Yet there were viruses on the Mac back then, and still none now. I would certinaly chalk that up to OS X being more secure.

something wrong with TFA (1, Interesting)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413334)

Something definitely seems wrong with the story. Remember, the system that was compromised at Google was an XP system running IE6 and logged in as administrator. IOW, they made no serious attempt to secure it. From this they jump all the way to banning Windows?

For the sort of targeted attack that hit Google an off-the-shelf Mac system is at least as vulnerable as an off-the-shelf Windows system. Surely Google knows this.

(My take: http://blogs.pcmag.com/securitywatch/2010/05/google_dropping_windows_for_in.php [pcmag.com] )

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413422)

How's Darwin closed source? From a security perspective *nix rules and Windows is well... a browser toolbar build up disaster... and before you start rambling "If *nix was as popular as Windows, there would be security issues too." -don't want to hear it.

Re:Flamebait (4, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413516)

'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.' However, they feel pretty good about a closed-source implementation of an open source operating system on locked-in hardware? This sounds rather flamebaity and very light on facts.

I think you've missed something. Read the sentence; they look at open source as a benefit and they feel good about it (Linux). That doesn't mean that the fact that Linux is open source is the only or even the biggest reason they like it. Obviously they also feel good about Mac OS X despite the fact that it's not 100% open source. Get it?

Corporations choose what makes sense to increase their bottom line. To that end, they think Linux makes sense. The fact that Linux is open source is just icing on the cake.

I want to see the long term results of this... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413100)

I am curious if long term this will help security. Windows is the prime target for attackers, but I'm sure there are many 0-day exploits waiting in other operating systems. However, if administered right, Windows can be pretty secure.

Time will tell if this actually reduces compromises. I'm interested in seeing the results over the long term, just to be objective.

Re:I want to see the long term results of this... (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413346)

How does any of that other than "is the prime target for attackers" not apply to Linux or Mac OSX? Any sufficiently well administered system is "pretty secure".

Re:I want to see the long term results of this... (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413378)

Windows, if administered right? There are new critical flaws found almost daily. Windows can be locked down pretty tight if you remove the network cable though. I don't think Windows has yet earned the security ratings that various *NIXes have. If I'm wrong, please show me.

I had a Linux machine I put up get hacked once though... I set up a machine for someone and told them explicitly, "CHANGE THE PASSWORD!" He agreed to. He didn't and it was compromised within two days. After that, though, it was all good. Linux seems trivial to lock down but perhaps it is because it is less of a target... or perhaps not. Time will tell. But the nice thing about Linux is that there are so many of them. Find a flaw in one, it may not apply to others and even if it does, it might require some tweaks to make the exploit work as needed. The point here is that even though machines could be compromised "as easily" it couldn't as easily be done using a massive wave of self-replicating exploits where compromised machines go on the attack automatically searching for more vulnerable machines to infect. The DNA of Linux has very healthy variations while Windows is a pygmy village just waiting for someone to kill them with the next "common cold."

Unsurprising (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413102)

Probably the only reason Google used Windows to begin with was out of freedom of choice for their employees. Now that freedom of choice has turned into a liability, thanks to Microsoft's shoddy security record. No wonder they've finally decided to pull the plug.

2010... (5, Funny)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413108)

The year of Linux on...

Never mind.

Re:2010... security maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413304)

Windows can be secured. Group Policies disable many of the problems.

Google should hire a seasoned system administrator. Everybody knows to disable autoplay, usb keys, and lock down pr0n sites.
Group policies won't help with the pr0n sites but firewalls and web-proxies can. As much as I love Ubuntu and Slackware, I know my bread and butter gets paid for by Microsoft. So I make sure I know it's workings.

Flash should be disabled and banned. Even Internet Explorer can be secured. Firewalls and proxies can remove some of the threat but next you should ban the Internet mail. You mainly work eight hours so check your mail later.

Again those problem areas:
Pr0n
Flash
Usb Keys
Autoplay media

Training has a big impact on problems.

Also make sure you delete web browsers, email clients, and compilers from your servers.

Linux will end up with these same issues.

Re:2010... security maybe (3, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413446)

If they locked Windows up securely, all their employees would change operating systems anyway.

You have to get pretty draconian to stop a targeted attack like the Chinese one.
I hear Googlers enjoy having a network cable connected to their computer.

Re:2010... (5, Insightful)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413324)

The year of Linux on...

Never mind.

That may well be part of Google's intention. Microsoft and Google have long been trying to kill each other. Tech companies seemed to have a policy of trying to scorch some earth around their market -- pre-emptive strikes against companies that might move into their competitive market in the future. So, Microsoft spent large quantities of cash to kill Netscape and AOL. Google are spending much moer than they are earning on Google Docs to try to kill Microsoft's Office market. Microsoft are spending large quantities of cash to try to kill Google's search advertising market. And more recently Google are spending lots of cash to try to kill Microsoft's Windows market. Taking the pain of moving a lot of staff from one operating system to another sounds like another effort in that regard. They hit Microsoft in PR ("see, one of the world's biggest companies doesn't use Windows at all -- it's not necessary for business"), and they particularly boost Linux's desktop user base and market reputation (they also boost Apple, but Apple needs it less). Not to mention the extra 20% time that desktop Linux projects might soon be getting...

MACS???!?! (-1, Troll)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413110)

Sorry if this is trollish, but Macs are IMO a WORSE security risk than Windows when dealing with spearphishing and other forms of targeted attacks. Security updates are rare. Even if the OS model is better than Microsoft's, it's not a good choice.

Re:MACS???!?! (0)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413146)

Security updates are rare because there are less exploits found. Do you complain because the pace of security updates for OpenBSD are far fewer than Windows?

Re:MACS???!?! (1, Troll)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413340)

You have to remember, this isn't a general user that can rely on "OS is rare enough in the wild not to really be afraid of mass-reproducing viruses" which is the main reason why mac is considered "more secure" then windows.

Google's problems are with TARGETED malware, specifically tailored for them, not generic mass-reproducing stuff. For this, mac is arguably much worse choice then windows - it likely has similar total amount of critical flaws, being a large general-use PC OS, but amount of flaws that aren't patched/known to anyone but black market sellers is likely to be far higher then those on windows, as on windows, such flaws are profitable enough to exploit with large-scale infections, forcing microsoft to close them up on a regular basis as they come up. On mac OS, you can have similar flaws stay around for much longer time due to far smaller amount of general malware using these flaws. And to this date, the #1 way the flaws come out is through malware using them and getting snagged by honeypot machines on the net.

I would expect that when this rollout is complete, black market for mac OS zero-day flaws will get a whole lot more active then it is now, due to additional value of google likely having a mac machine in an important part of its infrastructure..

Therefore I find it rather strange that *strategic* choice landed of mac OS when switching from windows OS. Linux on the other hand makes much more sense, as google folks themselves can actually tailor the OS to their own needs, including simply sandboxing browsers and other software they deem "vulnerable". I can understand it as a kneejerk "anything but windows" reaction, but in the long run, it just doesn't make much sense.

Re:MACS???!?! (1)

iwannasexwithyourmom (1804754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413426)

less exploits are found because less people use it...

Re:MACS???!?! (5, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413200)

Macs are only more susceptible to spearfishing because the monitor and body are one. Ram a spear through that and the whole machine is gone. With most windows machines, spearfishers go for the bright monitor but since the real guts of the machine is in a seperate body, it just requires replacing an ever-cheaper monitor.

Re:MACS???!?! (3, Insightful)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413208)

Macs are IMO a WORSE security risk than Windows when dealing with spearphishing and other forms of targeted attacks.

How could this be true? If the system is more secure, and the user is a constant, then it's no worse "when dealing with [...] targeted attacks".

Security updates are rare.

That's not an argument by itself. When's the last time you updated the walls of your house? If it ain't insecure, don't update it.

By the way, I'm no Apple fan. I just think your arguments are ridiculous.

Re:MACS???!?! (3, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413262)

Except OS X isn't more secure. That's why it's always the first gone at pwn2own competitions.

Re:MACS???!?! (4, Funny)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413360)

That's because the hackers want a Mac, not some lame old Windows box.

Re:MACS???!?! (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413372)

It's first gone at pwn2own competitions because it's what people want to own. Duh!

Re:MACS???!?! (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413402)

Number of in the wild FAQ ready, click and load, virus options for Mac OS X - 0
Ex NSA workers with the skill and time to hack a Mac for the WIN - a few
Number of in the wild malware options for Mac OS X that need a user to input their pw - 100's ?
http://www.iantivirus.com/threats/ [iantivirus.com]
OS X has all the nice overflows, poor to no memory protection, problems with users ect that most consumer quality OS face.
Just after a set number of years nobody seems to have done much on the Mac in the wild.
Why? Lack of skill, lack of fame, hardware access per hacker, profit or the well coded protection of a Unix like OS?
Linux and Mac have a had a few non rushed, profit crazed, non time limited code reviews done to their basic building blocks over many years.
The only part MS sinks its time and cash into is security marketing.

Re:MACS???!?! (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413526)

I'm not going to argue over which is more secure, because, unlike everyone else here, I don't claim to know.

I just know when someone is making absolutely no sense.

Re:MACS???!?! (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413230)

Sorry if this is trollish, but Macs are IMO a WORSE security risk than Windows when dealing with spearphishing and other forms of targeted attacks.

Well, you're entitled to your opinion, even if it has no connection to reality. "Spearphishing" (God that's a stupid term) is an attack on the user, not the machine; it has nothing to do with the OS.

Wrong, here's why in this case (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413330)

Sorry if this is trollish, but Macs are IMO a WORSE security risk than Windows when dealing with spearphishing and other forms of targeted attacks.

Why do you think this?

From an overall security standpoint, you have:

No open ports by default.
Users who do not run as admin to run any software

Now consider targeted attacks as you mentioned. You start out with a more secure base that makes it harder to infect the system beyond a simple cleaning. Now if you are really concerned about security, what do you do?

Simple, you access all email and do all browsing through Chrome.

Why do you think Google would not do this? They could say "don't use Safari or Mail,app" and then they base all the use of the computers that spearphishing could come in on, in a platform they control and that they can update every day if they like. I'm sure they use gmail internally so it's not like that's even a switch.

They key is basing that all on a subsystem more resistant to attack to add to the layers of security. And the simple reality is, that currently there just are not a million exploits in the wild showing you how to infect a Mac like there are for Windows today. That alone makes it REALISTICALLY more secure, even if the platform still has vulnerabilities (which it obviously does since all software does).

Re:MACS???!?! (2, Informative)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413366)

Macs have been offered at Google all along - all that appears to have changed here is the elimination of Windows as an option.

I call bullshit. (0, Troll)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413114)

Yeah, they can use "the Linux." I could see Google ditching Windows as a primary OS, and maybe just running it as a VM for testing purposes, but any article that doesn't give a specific distro they're moving to rates about an 8.5 on my bullshit-o-meter. Further, it'd be a staggered roll-out, I'm sure. Nothing worse for an IT department than having 20k+ employees needing everything changed. Until there's an official announcement, I won't hold my breath.

Re:I call bullshit. (3, Informative)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413162)

They probably use this one [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I call bullshit. (1, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413240)

If that had been named in the article, I'd say it was a damn good possibility that they were removing Windows from any machines in favour of that. The fact that it exists, and that name wasn't used, pretty much confirms for me that it's not a legit story at this time.

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413232)

They're likely going to put the users on GooBunto... their secret-filled OS that they've been developing for their own purposes for a few years now. If you have a Linux-offshoot Android already, they most likely have the ability to fork Linux and do whatever they need from it... not to mention any security exploit would require knowledge of this employees-only OS, so it'll dramatically cut back on the number of suspects.

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413238)

They've been using Linux for years.

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413248)

They have their own internal distro, have for at least 2 years that I'm aware of.

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413556)

It's a company that is staffed mostly by tech guys, who use a webmail client for corporate mail/calendar, are pushing their own office product, and use mostly web-based internal apps. This "switching to Linux" on Google isn't as difficult as a "switching to Linux" on a non-tech corporation where most people use windows. All the guys I know over there already use Linux in both the desktop and laptop google computers.

I'd love to see.... (5, Interesting)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413120)

.....if Microsoft employees can ditch Google.

That will be the true test of Google's influence.

Re:I'd love to see.... (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413164)

If Microsoft employees can't even ditch their iPods and iPhones [pcmag.com] , why would they give up teh Google?

I'm going to fucking kill Google (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413144)

Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google.

Your friend,
Steve Ballmer

Re:I'm going to fucking kill Google (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413500)

Fucking Eric Schmidt is fucking a pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google.

Your friend, Steve Ballmer

Fixed that for you mr. Ballmer. I guess that explains everything.

IBM is headed that way too (4, Interesting)

jimpop (27817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413158)

I recently left IBM, but while I was there, there was considerable effort to eliminate M$ products. Symphony was being pushed out over MS Office, and Apple netbooks were an available option in some areas. Obviously IBM has a love for Linux, and the Linux folk there are doing everything they can to make it perfectly acceptable, and usable, to use Linux internally. For all of my 4 years at IBM I used Debian and then Ubuntu on my work thinkpad (but I kept a XP partition for Visio).

Re:IBM is headed that way too (1)

emperortux (1503859) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413172)

and Apple netbooks were an available option in some areas.

Netbook macs? Wouldn't those violate OS X's EULA?

Re:IBM is headed that way too (1)

jimpop (27817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413258)

Well, I don't follow apple, so I used netbooks as a general term for apple laptops. Mostly seen with used by some IBM sales critters.

Re:IBM is headed that way too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413468)

Okay, I'll start using retard as a general term for jimpop.

Re:IBM is headed that way too (1)

Vertigo Acid (1164963) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413470)

IOW, you have no idea what netbook means.

Re:IBM is headed that way too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413260)

...and Apple netbooks were an available option in some areas.

Cool!

Re:IBM is headed that way too (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413520)

Wow, that's the most insightful comment I've ever read!... tell me more!

Re:IBM is headed that way too (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413414)

I recently left IBM, but while I was there, there was considerable effort to eliminate M$ products. ... Obviously IBM has a love for Linux, ...

If so, the marketing folks haven't heard of it. I just checked the "shop for ..." section at ibm.com, and looked through their "personal computers" stuff for a linux machine. I couldn't find any page that contained the string "linux" anywhere. Every machine I saw had "Microsoft Windows ..." as the installed OS, with no option for anything else. This has been true for the several years that people have been claiming that IBM now supports linux. It's a funny sort of "support" that doesn't entail any mention of the supported product in the sales or configuration pages.

(I suppose there might be an option of a linux machine somewhere at ibm.com, but in 10 or 15 minutes of looking for it, I didn't stumble across it. Anyone know offhand where it might be hidden?)

Re:IBM is headed that way too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413544)

IBM no longer sells PC's, that business was sold to a Chinese outfit called Lenovo which probably has continuing rights to use the IBM brand name on their new Thinkpads.

Try googling "IBM p Series Linux", "IBM i Series Linux", or "IBM System Z Linux".

Re:IBM is headed that way too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413592)

IBM doesn't make personal computers. The computers they do make not only usually have GNU/Linux available for them, but rarely are even capable of running Windows.

Re:IBM is headed that way too (1)

linumax (910946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413456)

Replacing Windows with Linux in a corporate environment I can fully understand. Migrating from MS Office to Symphony though, is as stupid as it gets. Symphony is the monster child of Open Office and Notes and from personal experience plain sucks.

Re:IBM is headed that way too (2, Funny)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413524)

Wow! Symphony! Now THERE'S a cutting-edge technology! I remember the helicopters buzzing Manhattan in, umm, 1990 something, proclaiming. "We're cool! We're Lotus 1-2-3 in drag because now we incor[orate a word processor and, umm, Visiterm!" Next up: "Munich has disclosed that the entire city is dumping Windows for DOS 6.0"

News at eleven.

My prediction... (3, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413174)

I thought the next big thing to hit MS by Google actions was to make HTML5 the new YouTube installer(apart from the beta html5). This would represent the next most significant milestone over the inception of Google Search itself.

But this is up there. For Joe and Jane Public, google is hip, trustworthy, and useful everyday.

Perhaps more than any other effort, this may influence significantly the perception of school aged people and Operating Systems. When that tipping point comes, MS is in serious trouble.

Re:My prediction... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413508)

Yes most things they do via web 2.0 will float on mobile Flash like code, open free html5 and be served via Linux or some 'free' OS tools.
The dreamy art, Macs.
MS is left with gamers and the grandparents. The market growth of budgets in Excel and writing to their congress person while a young child sits playing a next gen 360 (now at 720p for real).
MS is going to have to cut off some oxygen again.

Dogfooding (2, Insightful)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413184)

Google makes its own mobile platform (Android) and is working on another for general computing (Google Web OS), so it only makes sense that they'd move away from a closed, proprietary platform like Windows. If there are any Mac OS X machines, I'd imagine those are being migrated to something else as well... though some people may get clearance for software like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.

Even for testing/development, they can just run virtual machines.

Re:Dogfooding (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413236)

If you watched the Atmosphere and I|O events, the developer machines were split about 60/40 over Mac and Ubuntu. I didn't see Windows in either event's demonstrations.

neato (4, Insightful)

lobf (1790198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413198)

I'm not as smart as most of you slashdotters, but this seems smart in that they can write their own security updates with Linux, as opposed to waiting for Microsoft to fix them.

Re:neato (2, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413374)

I'm not as smart as most of you slashdotters, but this seems smart in that they can write their own security updates with Linux, as opposed to waiting for Microsoft to fix them.

Yes, but in order to do that they're also creating a budget to support the programmers doing that.

Um . . . OK . . . we all care because . . . (0, Flamebait)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413210)

I'm not certain why anyone would care. Ya know, besides the folks who are on the endless jihad against all things MS.

How are they going to hit their target audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413214)

All their developers working on non-Windows systems developing for a Windows driven world? Sounds like a poor choice to me. I understand they can VM, but they really need to be using real systems with real hardware...

RedHat and Apple (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413218)

On other news, RedHat announced it does not use Windows on its web servers and Apple announced that no employees use Windows Mobile phones.

Re:RedHat and Apple (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413350)

I know you're being funny, but you could throw in Sun Microsystems as well. Sun had a project to give their field techs a handheld wireless computer back in 2000. They really liked Symbol hardware, but the device they settled on only supported WinCE. So they had Symbol do a custom port of Linux to the device. They could have had a working system much faster, but they were willing to do anything to avoid Microsoft.

Re:RedHat and Apple (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413480)

On other news, RedHat announced it does not use Windows on its web servers and Apple announced that no employees use Windows Mobile phones.

But what's amusing, of course, is that a huge proportion of MS employees seem to have an iphone... (based on what my friends working at MS say)

Re:RedHat and Apple (2, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413482)

Actually, RedHat and Apple both tried to get some employees to use Microsoft computers and phones, so that they'd have people on staff that were familiar with the MS products. But most the employees flatly refused. The few that went along with the requests also quietly updated their resumes, and quit after a month or two. This can be really frustrating if you're seriously trying to test your equipment against the other major products on the market. ;-)

Re:RedHat and Apple (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413522)

Lots of Apple employees use Windows Mobile devices. Go into an Apple Store some time ;)

Uh... (1)

deblau (68023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413246)

One indication of possibly hasty reporting is the note that Google "employs more than 10,000 workers internationally," whereas it's easy enough to find official word that the total exceeds 20,000.

Why yes, 20,000 is more than 10,000.

Completely or mostly? (1)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413292)

Are they going to go the way of Go [golang.org] for all of their other development activities?

now they are secure (0, Troll)

chentiangemalc (1710624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413296)

Moving to MAC and Linux that will eliminate security issues... oh wait?! MAC and Linux have security vunerabilties too? that can't be possible! hopefully i don't get banned from slashdot for suggesting that :) personally i think it is easier to find vunerabilities in linux, as i can analyze source for bugs. but then once found it's kinda pointless, it's harder to find somebody using linux than it is to find the vunerability in the first place. maybe google will change that. In any case now google is moving to a malware-proof secure desktop infrastructure they can lay off their security management team who didn't know how to configure Windows in an enterprise environment (despite it being clearly documented with step by step instructions on technet) including the plethora of freely available tools for auditing security configurations...

Re:now they are secure (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413418)

Moving to MAC...

I have no idea how moving to a Canadian cosmetic brand will eliminate security issues.

"Getting a new Windows machine ..." (3, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413300)

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."

So what they'll do is get a new linux machine, and install Windows as a "guest" OS in a second partition. It's not that hard these days, and google is reputed to have lots of smart people.

Similarly, my wife telecommutes half time, and is required to run Windows XP at home. She talked to the nice folks at the Apple Store, who explained how to set her Mac up to run virtual OSs, and installed XP in a virtual partition. It works fine. She has since taught a few others at work to do the same, and they're all pretty happy with being able to run a real OS at home and only fire up the Windows that they all hate when they need to do some "work". She gave me her castoff Windows box, which is sitting in the corner running Debian linux and functioning as our firewall/gateway/server machine (and no doubt still listed as another sale to a satisfied Windows customer by MS's bean counters).

And all this is nothing at very new, as far as the computer industry is concerned. Back in 1980, I had a job at a company that mostly used their big IBM mainframe, while the engineers were playing around with unix on some of those funny new "minicomputers". I'd worked on both, so I had the fun of getting together with some Amdahl folks, who delivered their unix that ran on top of VM. We installed it (over a lot of dead IBMer bodies ;-), so that the engineering staff could run their stuff on the mainframe. After a while, the big 360 machine with VM was running at least 10 different OSs simultaneously, with each group using the OS that best fit their needs. Granted, there were lots of fanboys who thought their OS was the one that everyone else should be using, but we just ignored them and went about our jobs. Now it's 30 years later, and the "personal computer" part of the industry is discovering this fantastic new idea called "virtual" computing that lets you run more than one OS at the same time ...

Re:"Getting a new Windows machine ..." (3, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413432)

"Cloud Computing" is just Timeshare 2.0.

Not Surprising or A Big Change (1)

xianthax (963773) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413312)

All things considered i think the majority of google employees are software developers or artsy UI experts. They don't seem to have the laundry list of sales/marketing dudes and execs who drive the company to use MS because they are incapable of learning to use anything else. Given that their entire server architecture is based on linux i doubt many software developers have a problem with using it as their desktop and the mac fits the artsy niche.

Last time i was in the boston google office (several years ago) i don't recall seeing a single windows machine anyway, they were mostly linux workstations and a few macs here and there. Its not like they really transitioned 20,000 employees, i would guess more like 1,000.

So no support for Google on Windows/IE then? (0, Troll)

jedwidz (1399015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413328)

Now what happens to Google's quality control once they're unable to develop and test against their #1 target platform? (being collectively some version of IE on some version of Windows)

I believe this kind of 'THOU SHALT NOT' bullying by IT overlords tends to backfire somewhere down the line, particularly when there are techies and power users having their capabilities trimmed, particularly when those techies and power users are of the caliber that Google no doubt employs.

Not Surprising, but when will MS ditch Windows? (2, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413400)

Every OS reaches an end point, not necessarily driven by only one thing.

Apple reached the end with the Apple II, Mac OS9, and moved to UNIX.

How is Microsoft going to break the legacy trail?

They are going to throw a chair through all the Windows, maybe?

How do you get rid of entrenched dispersed foe that attacks everything you do from inside your own OS?

How many tens of millions of user hours are wasted every year on WinPCs just with the security stuff, which still is NEVER enough?

My Guess: Never. They will Bleed Windows until competitors take their market share as users make the choice to abandon Windows.

It is truly a strange situation where the dominant player is also the most attacked and yet in the last 5 years nothing in security seems to change.

Re:Not Surprising, but when will MS ditch Windows? (2, Insightful)

Yosho (135835) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413472)

Every OS reaches an end point, not necessarily driven by only one thing.

Apple reached the end with the Apple II, Mac OS9, and moved to UNIX.

How is Microsoft going to break the legacy trail?

Do you mean like when they ditched the 9x kernel and switched to the NT kernel? And I suppose there are still some legacy remnants of the original NT kernel, but Windows 7 is vastly different from Windows NT4 or even 2000.

I'm really surprised they had windows installation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413404)

That's funny. I thought they were smarter than that. I applied to Google and was rejected within minutes by their robot HR department. One of the reasons I applied was because I heard they were using Linux on all of their desktops. Meh!

Re:I'm really surprised they had windows installat (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413450)

I applied to Google and was rejected within minutes by their robot HR department

Bender, is that you?!

Skepticism warranted? (4, Informative)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413424)

This is the Financial Times, not the New York Post, Mac OS Rumors, or some random blog. This reminds me of when the Wall Street Journal was reporting that Apple was going to Intel, and Slashdot said, "Never going to happen." Of course, it did happen. Folks, when a major newspaper like the FT, WSJ, or New York Times reports something, it's probably true. Which makes this very interesting. I think the most interesting aspect will probably be that feature parity for things like Google Chrome will probably benefit--no longer will Chrome, or Google Toolbar, or Google Earth lag behind on Linux and Mac, because Google employees are using Linux or Macs, because now Google employees will be using Linux and Macs.

Google's Windows-only software (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413436)

So Google employees don't use the client software they themselves produce, considering that a lot of it is still Windows-only?

I would be particularly curious about Google's own GTalk client...

Rather late reponse.... (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413464)

Microsoft reportedly ditched internal use of Google in 2004.

Re:Rather late reponse.... (2, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413576)

Update: Apparently it was just Ballmer who ditched use of Google in 2004.

Welcome to the club, Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413488)

What took you so long?

google talk for linux (1)

captainspudly (551559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413530)

Are they going to develop Google Talk for linux?

Hardly any devs at Google even use Windows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413562)

Most engineers at Google don't even use Windows, it's only the non-tech side. The only engineers that use Windows are the ones that develop client-side things like Google Earth. Google probably has a lot of Windows licenses because there are a lot of non-tech employees, but 10.000? 20.000? Not even close to that many.

They were already half Mac and significant Linux (1, Troll)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413564)

Only a minority of their systems were running Windows anyway. They were half Mac and had significant Linux use also. With how Unix-based they are, I was surprised they had any Windows at all.

It is simply unprofessional to use Windows in 2010. There is no excuse. The switching costs on Mac or Linux are tiny compared to what you save in maintenance and training costs later and gain in enhanced productivity. The key is you have to let the user choose which one they want and then you can leave them be to work. A Mac is better than Windows for some users, and Linux is better for the others. Neither needs any significant training if they choose the right one. For some users, an iPad is all they need. I know a couple of business people who switched from XP to iPad and won't go back. They add WebEx and iWork and a Bluetooth keyboard and they're good to go. Ten iPad users can share a single Mac mini with 10 accounts on it for backup and OS updates.

I think we need a kind of certification that says "Windows free" so consumers can avoid companies that use Windows. If you give your personal data to a company that uses Windows you have basically given it to a botnet. Even in the Fortune 500 who have I-T staff and security add-ons they all have botnet infestations. They shouldn't be waiting until they get a class action lawsuit to switch to professional technology.

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