To increase internal security, Google is reportedly in the midst of an effort that would make many IT professionals envious: It’s effectively banning Windows. Instead, the company is directing employees to use Macs or Linux PCs, according to the Financial Times.
Google employees tell the Times that the company started promoting the idea of moving away from the Microsoft operating system in January, following the recent attacks on its Chinese operations. Since then, many workers have migrated from Windows, and new employees are being given the choice of Mac or Linux computers. “Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,” said one employee.
Windows has long been the bane of IT workers, thanks to the fact that it’s vulnerable to many types of viruses and malware, and is often targeted by hackers due its large install base. The attack that originated from China used malware that targeted Windows PCs running Internet Explorer 6 — an old version of the web browser that’s particularly vulnerable to hacking. Apple’s Mac OS, and Linux operating systems, are far more secure in comparison to Windows.
When faced with an attack like this, most organizations would normally promote updating Windows computers away from older browsers, and remind employees about the importance of running Windows Update to keep their computer as secure as possible. Google has apparently taken that a step further by moving employees away from Windows altogether. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other organizations follow suit, particularly since most IT professionals would prefer not to deal with the daily headache of Windows problems.
In addition to being a security effort, the move away from Windows would also help the company to promote the use of its own products among employees. Its Chrome OS, for example, would be a worthy competitor to Windows on netbooks and ultra-portable laptops.
When asked for comment about the news, a Google representative told VentureBeat, “We’re always working to improve the efficiency of our business, but we do not comment on specific operational matters.”