Google: No More Windows Allowed?
Google is sending a message to the world. The search giant is pushing its own employees toward Mac OS X or Linux, according to a published report. In fact, Google allegedly is dropping internal use of Microsoft Windows because of security concerns. What’s the deal? Read on…
The alleged scoop comes from the UK’s Financial Times and the quotes are in the proverbial black and white. The Financial Times isn’t dropping names, but several “Google employees” are quoted.
Apparently, the impetus for the mass exodus (within Google) from the world of Windows happened in January 2010 after Google’s Chinese base was hacked. According to FT, a Google Employee said…
“We’re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,”
and another was noted saying…
“Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS…”
What’s more, Google doesn’t “feel so good about” Windows, and since January, Windows installs were not allowed on desktops, but limited laptops were apparently being allowed. If you’re hell-bent on using a Windows machine, an anonymous Google employee noted you had to be on a senior level with a CIO approval.
Google employees stressed that Google wants to eventually run the entire company on their in-house software, including Google’s Chrome OS, which is now being positioned to compete with Windows. Employee’s reactions to the news allegedly caused a bit of an upset, but FT reports that employees would’ve been more upset if they took away the choice to use Macs instead.
So are those security concerns real? Yes, I think it’s legitimate, but it’s deeper than that. Assuming the Financial Times story is accurate, here’s some analysis.
- Most obvious: money. No more Windows licenses means less cash spent funding Microsoft and more cash in the Google vault. (Google has over 20,000 employees.)
- Running the entire company on in-house products (as previously mentioned). The advantage to this is that every employee (can potentially) become an evangelist for the platform that they use every day, and it helps deepen the development and user knowledge of the product they’re working on the first place.
- Google speaks out: Does this lend credence to the idea that Microsoft is becoming increasingly more irrelevant in a world dominated by Google, Apple and the web as a whole?
Of course, we do need to keep this story in proper context. Microsoft announced record Q3 revenues in April 2010. And much of that revenue momentum was tied to strong Windows 7 adoption — though perhaps not in the halls of Google.