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Security concerns prompt Google to switch from Windows to Mac

post #1 of 85
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A major security breach in which Google's Chinese operations were hacked could "effectively end" the presence of Microsoft Windows machines at the search giant, with most systems replaced by Macs.

According to the Financial Times, multiple Google employees said that the company is phasing out the use of machines running Microsoft Windows. Most of those systems will reportedly be replaced by hardware from Apple.

New hires at Google are given the choice of running a Mac, or a system running Linux. One employee remarked to the paper that the company feels "good" about using Linux, because it is open source. "Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

For those who wish to stick with Windows, sources told the Times that it's a tall order. One employee reportedly said that approval for machines running the Microsoft operating system must come from "senior levels," while another said it "requires CIO approval."

While Google is turning to the Mac for security, it is also looking to transition many of its devices to products made in-house. Among those is its own Chrome OS, expected to arrive on new netbooks by the end of 2010.

And while the report said some employees were upset by the banning of Windows, most were "relieved" they still had Apple hardware as an option. "It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows," one source reportedly said.

The details suggest that Google is still accepting of Apple's Mac hardware and Mac OS X operating system despite the bitter rivalry that has formed between the two companies. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs feels that Google betrayed Apple by producing cellphones that resemble the iPhone, and Google has compared Apple to an Orwellian "Big Brother."

Google's introduction of the Chrome OS was one of a number of reasons that its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, stepped down from the Apple Board of Directors last August. Despite all of the publicity surrounding the feud between the two companies, Jobs was spotted having coffee with Schmidt in March.
post #2 of 85
Quote:
While Google is turning to the Mac for security, it is also looking to transition many of its devices to products made in-house. Among those is its own Chrome OS, expected to arrive on new netbooks by the end of 2010.

I don't think too many developers at Google are going to be working on Chrome. On the other hand, I can't see that they have any use for Windows either, other than for testing. It would seem to make more sense to work on a Linux/Unix based system if that's what you're developing code to run on.
post #3 of 85
Am I reading this article correctly? a large enterprise is going to use Apple hardware instead of Microsoft technology? I find that very interesting.
post #4 of 85
I wish the CIO in the company I work for was capable of giving us options. I'd bring my own Mac in to use, rather than keep using the sack of shit they've given me.
post #5 of 85
I'm not buying the premise of this story. Google is windows centric, not apple. They always release their products for windows quicker and better. Just not buying this rumor.
post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

And while the report said some employees were upset by the banning of Windows, most were "relieved" they still had Apple hardware as an option. "It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows," one source reportedly said.

Actually the FT article said this:

The move created mild discontent among some Google employees, appreciative of the choice in operating systems granted to them - an unusual feature in large companies. But many employees were relieved they could still use Macs and Linux. “It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows,” he added.

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post #7 of 85
this sounds like a bullshit anti-microsoft rumor...i wouldn't be surprised if it were true though...
post #8 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I'm not buying the premise of this story. Google is windows centric, not apple. They always release their products for windows quicker and better. Just not buying this rumor.

why do you say its a "rumor" if it s reported by the Financial Times and sourced by google employees?

Seems like that would call for a much stronger word than "rumor"...
post #9 of 85
Just out of interest, can you develop software for Windows on a Mac? Are there a selection of decent development environments available?
post #10 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Just out of interest, can you develop software for Windows on a Mac?

Yes. Why not?

Heck, if you don't want to learn anything new, you can always fall back to Fusion or Parallels and create your software that way. But that's not the only way.
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post #11 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I'm not buying the premise of this story. Google is windows centric, not apple. They always release their products for windows quicker and better. Just not buying this rumor.

Adding to echosonic's post, Google's customer base mostly using Windows for their system-base consumer SW is irrelevant to Google trying to protect themselves from hackers. By your reckoning, Apple's largest piece of SW is iTunes on Windows so their employees should all be using Windows PCs for their day-to-day tasks.
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post #12 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Yes. Why not?

Heck, if you don't want to learn anything new, you can always fall back to Fusion or Parallels and create your software that way. But that's not the only way.

I assumed you would be able to, but what development tools are there for doing that (i.e. without using Parallels and using Visual Studio or something like that)?
post #13 of 85
If Google is so worried about security then it should implement its own proprietary software. Wouldn't Google implement its own Chrome OS in beta form for its own company? Even if it weren't totally ready for the public it could let its employees have some basic functionality with the Chrome OS.

What does this say about Chrome OS if it is true? It says Chrome OS can't do regular business computing. I've seen the demo's of Chrome OS and it seemed to work fine. It might be buggy right now but it could do word processing and e-mail. What specialized tasks do the Google business people do that requires OS X that can't be done with Chrome OS? I'm curious.
post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Yes. Why not?

Heck, if you don't want to learn anything new, you can always fall back to Fusion or Parallels and create your software that way. But that's not the only way.

There are no reasonable alternative tools to Visual Studio to create Windows applications although it could be possible in a very limited manner just to prove a point, but for all practical purposes, no you cannot. Unless you consider a Flash runtime executable software. That you can do with a Mac.

Ironically you can program Mac applications on Windows.

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post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

There are no reasonable alternative tools to Visual Studio to create Windows applications although it could be possible in a very limited manner just to prove a point, but for all practical purposes, no you cannot. Unless you consider a Flash runtime executable software. That you can do with a Mac.

Ironically you can program Mac applications on Windows.

Thanks for the helpful response.

Seems strange that nobody has gone after that market - I could imagine there being a number of people who have to write applications for Windows but prefer to use a Mac themselves.
post #16 of 85
California State Highway patrol officers caught several Google employees throwing their cellphones into the Pacific Ocean. When accosted by the officers, the men and women of Google sheepishly admitted that they hated their phones that were powered by Android.

"All the Android Apps are so lame," said one young man who refused to give his name. Another young woman, who was visibly upset, said, "It is so hard to upgrade the OS on my phone. Why can't Eric just let us use the iPhone? It is so cool. My boyfriend has it. Thank God, he does not work for Google."

The officers warned the Googlers that polluting the Pacific Ocean with Android phones was a crime worse than causing an oil spill. If convicted, a person could be sentenced to life imprisonment. Without any hope of parole.

LOL !!
post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

why do you say its a "rumor" if it s reported by the Financial Times and sourced by google employees?

Seems like that would call for a much stronger word than "rumor"...

Its a rumor when google won't confirm, and they quote no google employee by name.
post #18 of 85
I would have liked to have known what version of Windows Google was using when they were hacked. XP?

Steve and Eric may have been having coffee together but you know that Steve was giving Eric a verbal ass pounding.
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I'm not buying the premise of this story. Google is windows centric, not apple. They always release their products for windows quicker and better. Just not buying this rumor.

Most of Google's software doesn't run on desktops, it runs on servers, and those servers don't run Windows.
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Adding to echosonic's post, Google's customer base mostly using Windows for their system-base consumer SW is irrelevant to Google trying to protect themselves from hackers. By your reckoning, Apple's largest piece of SW is iTunes on Windows so their employees should all be using Windows PCs for their day-to-day tasks.

My point is the developers who develop these apps
http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/

Need to test on windows machines. Google apps are always bigger than better on windows than mac (if they release the mac version at all). That means a great many employees (especially developers) of google will need windows machines. This rumor does not pass the smell test.
post #21 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Most of Google's software doesn't run on desktops, it runs on servers, and those servers don't run Windows.

True but Google Frame for IE, Sketch Up and Google Earth are widely used on Windows

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post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Adding to echosonic's post, Google's customer base mostly using Windows for their system-base consumer SW is irrelevant to Google trying to protect themselves from hackers. By your reckoning, Apple's largest piece of SW is iTunes on Windows so their employees should all be using Windows PCs for their day-to-day tasks.

My point is the developers who develop these apps
http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/

Need to test on windows machines. Google apps are always bigger and better on windows than mac (if they release the mac version at all). That means a great many employees (especially developers) of google will need windows machines. This rumor does not pass the smell test.
post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I assumed you would be able to, but what development tools are there for doing that (i.e. without using Parallels and using Visual Studio or something like that)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

There are no reasonable alternative tools to Visual Studio to create Windows applications although it could be possible in a very limited manner just to prove a point, but for all practical purposes, no you cannot. Unless you consider a Flash runtime executable software. That you can do with a Mac.

Ironically you can program Mac applications on Windows.

There is RealBasic. It is not as powerful as Visual Studio but it is a tool you can use to create Mac, Windows, and Linux software using single source code.
post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I'm not buying the premise of this story. Google is windows centric, not apple. They always release their products for windows quicker and better. Just not buying this rumor.

Whilst Google does develop some desktop applications the vast majority of their stuff is web based. They are not Windows centric.

If you look at the videos Google releases, often they are demoing on Macs.
post #25 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

My point is the developers who develop these apps
http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/

Need to test on windows machines. Google apps are always bigger than better on windows than mac (if they release the mac version at all). That means a great many employees (especially developers) of google will need windows machines. This rumor does not pass the smell test.

The article doesn't state that ALL Windows PCs will be removed. Do you think that MS employees use Windows to develop for the Mac? Of course not, but company-wide they use Windows.
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post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

There is RealBasic. It is not as powerful as Visual Studio but it is a tool you can use to create Mac, Windows, and Linux software using single source code.

Good to know. Thanks.

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post #27 of 85
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Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Most of Google's software doesn't run on desktops, it runs on servers, and those servers don't run Windows.

features in google docs appear on windows much faster than mac (some times over a year)
also chrome was out at least a year before mac. It doesn't matter which server. it matters what happens when a mac or windows client logs into the server. things happen better and quicker when a windows machine logs into use a google server app.
post #28 of 85
Thanks, FT, for hitting the "So Suck It" button.
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The article doesn't state that ALL Windows PCs will be removed. Do you think that MS employees use Windows to develop for the Mac? Of course not, but company-wide they use Windows.

no but you have to admit this language is strong:

"Google employees said that the company is phasing out the use of machines running Microsoft Windows."

"Phasing out" implies that they are dumping the platform at google all together at some future date. My guess is that this is bull, my guess is that google will provide windows os systems now and in the future to key employees.
post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

It doesn't matter which server. it matters what happens when a mac or windows client logs into the server. things happen better and quicker when a windows machine logs into use a google server app.

It shouldn't matter whether the client is Mac or Windows as the app is html+JS running in a browser.
post #31 of 85
While working for a major US tax software company (not that hard to figure out), they finally allowed groups to put in POs on macs, the problem is that they have a contract with IBM (lev..now) to do desktop support, they actually had to restrict departments to 50% macs do to the overwhelming number of people requesting them as well as the service that still has years on it ... haha.

Another software company I worked for in Cambridge MA allowed employees to switch from windows to OS X, the was never possible before due to the fact they are a java shop, now though 85% of the company has switched with the rest on Linux, I have heard there is not one windows machine left (they use VM ware for any windows apps the need now).
post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I'm not buying the premise of this story. Google is windows centric, not apple. They always release their products for windows quicker and better. Just not buying this rumor.

Thats most likely because Windows has about 85% of the OS market share!
post #33 of 85
This is nearly anonymous and entirely anecdotal, so, for whatever it might be worth, a friend of mine is in a small but high-profile group at Google, and he's claimed they're pretty Mac-centric - all his engineers were issued a 15" MBP as their desktop/productivity machine and a linux box as their dev machine (for compiling & running code, not for actually writing it, which they do on the Macs).
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

It shouldn't matter whether the client is Mac or Windows as the app is html+JS running in a browser.

I agree it shouldn't, however the facts are that the features at least in the past, were flying out much quicker when i log in using the VM side of my machine (windows 7 and IE) compared to Mac OSX and safari.
post #35 of 85
Google is a very big and prestigious company, soon the entire world will be running on only Macs and iPhones.
post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

no but you have to admit this language is strong:

"Google employees said that the company is phasing out the use of machines running Microsoft Windows."

"Phasing out" implies that they are dumping the platform at google all together at some future date. My guess is that this is bull, my guess is that google will provide windows os systems now and in the future to key employees.

The implication is very direct: they are phasing out Windows. For you to imply that this means EVERY copy of Windows, including those needed by developers is silly. For MS or Apple to say are a Windows or Mac only company, respectively, doesn't mean they don't also use the other's SW for testing purposes and other things.
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post #37 of 85
They seem to be replacing people's desktop work machines, what about all the custom servers that run the search and ad engines, I doubt that run windows, but highly doubt they will be replacing then with xservers.


Not sure why anyone would willing use a Google OS on any device and that includes phones, their entire business model is based on ad views, they are trying to get more ad placement in front of people and collect user preferences and the such and all you are doing is allowing them to spy on you and for what some few okay software.

I am not sure about you but I am extremely tried of these silly ads that the cable companies are now placing at the bottom of tv shows, that thing I want is ads showing up in the background of my computer.
post #38 of 85
Can you guys read?

Google is NOT switching everyone to Macs running OSX. They have always had an option of which OS to use, and they are now dropping the Windows option. Employees now will have the choice of OSX, LINUX, or ChromeOS. I would also bet Windows developers will haver permission to run Windowes machines. No half qualified CIO is stupid enough to deny that when there is a legitimate case that outweighs the risks. I would not count on OSX becoming the dominant platform in Google. I am sure Chrome and Android will have a good chunk of the internal marketshare, if for no other reason, it would be a politicaaly smart choice for emplyees to make.
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Actually the FT article said this:

The move created mild discontent among some Google employees, appreciative of the choice in operating systems granted to them - an unusual feature in large companies. But many employees were relieved they could still use Macs and Linux. It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows, he added.

AI is the Fox News equivalent of technology news
post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoodlyDoo View Post

Google is a very big and prestigious company, soon the entire world will be running on only Macs and iPhones.

Then what?
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