Google bans Windows over security concerns

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 By

Operating system icons displayed on a computer screen.

Google employees are given the option of running Linux, Mac or Chrome operating systems. Windows? Not available. Image from Flickr.

At the California Googleplex and around the world, concerns over security have led to Google officially giving Windows the boot. Partially a lead-up to the Google Chrome OS and partially a reaction to Windows security breaks, this move has attracted international attention. Google employees will no longer be allowed to use Windows, but they will still be offered an option of operating systems.

Google dumps Windows officially

The official policy of Google on Windows has been, until now, more flexible. Google employees were offered the option of Windows, Linux or Mac operating systems. Now, if Google employees want to keep Windows as an operating system, they have to get CIO approval. At the same time that Windows use has been officially limited, Google’s Chrome OS is being pushed as an alternative option. This move was hastened by the recent hacking of Google’s China channels.

Google cites Windows security concerns

About 80 percent of the computers in use today use the Windows operating system — everything from offices to credit counseling offices. This homogeneity across the system makes Windows an easy target for hackers and computer viruses. At Google, the security concerns surrounding Windows have been the reason for a general move to Mac and Linux computer systems. Because Google’s dedicated developers design programs for wide use, they are able to avoid many of the downfalls of Windows security holes.

Google banning Windows a publicity stunt?

Some wonder whether Google’s banning of Windows is more of a publicity stunt than a security move. Google has been working on Chrome OS, a competitor to Windows. Chrome OS will be based on the Google Chrome web browser. The Google Chrome OS is an open-source operating system — an operating system that can be edited and improved by any user. People used to assume that open-source operating systems were less secure, but experience with Linux and other large open-source projects have proved this theory incorrect. Yes, Google will be introducing a competitor to the Windows operating system — but that is not the only reason Windows has been banned from the Google corporate operating system.

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