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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rethinking Windows security: Will Google's move spur others to drop Microsoft? | IT Security |

Rethinking Windows security: Will Google's move spur others to drop Microsoft?

The Financial Times reported that Google is phasing out Microsoft Windows on employee desktops. What are the reasons and the security implications?

After Chinese security crackers infamously cracked Google security via Microsoft Windows security vulnerabilities, a number of interesting things have happened, including Google’s decision to stop censoring search results in China at the government’s request. Google also announced it would be working closely with the NSA and other major technology industry corporations to gather evidence of wrongdoing and determine the best course of action to take in the long term.

More recently, Google has apparently implemented a new internal security policy change that seems like it might be related: Microsoft Windows is being phased out within the company. Microsoft chooses to paint the policy change in the colors of what amounts to a publicity stunt, but Google is not the first business to renounce all things Microsoft, and there are definite indicators that the time has come for Google to cease relying on Microsoft for any of its mission critical information technology deployments.

Google has always been a heavy user of Linux-based systems for its massive database farms and other server implementations. MacOS X and Linux-based systems have always been options for new Google employees’ workstation systems.

Many organizations that rely heavily on MS Windows systems might have a difficult time achieving a company-wide migration without significant up-front expense, even if in the course of five years such organizations could see cost savings overall. Google, on the other hand, is in a particularly good position to move away from systems running Microsoft’s flagship OS.



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