updated 10:10 pm EDT, Mon May 31, 2010
Google says Windows too much of security risk
Google is abandoning the use of Windows by its staff as it's too much of a security threat, multiple staffers said Monday night. Recent concerns about Chinese hacks have the search firm requiring either a Mac or Linux for all new recruits to provide better security. Those who want Windows now often require explicit approval from executives and may not have any choice on desktops where it's only an option for notebooks.
"Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval," one worker told the FT when asked.
Some of the reason for banning Windows would come from Google's efforts on Chrome OS, which the company would like to promote among its workers. The OS isn't yet complete but has been in beta sine late last year. Some employees have been upset by the move, but much of the company actively prefers Macs and is unaffected by the current policy. "It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows," one said.
Mac OS X isn't necessarily more secure than Windows, but the sheer volume of malware and other threats makes Windows a more common target. Regardless of the reasons, the relative unfamiliarity of black hat hackers with Linux and the Mac gives Google a relatively safer environment. Among other advantages, the alternative platforms avoid botnets and other attacks designed to exploit the sheer ubiquity of Windows PCs.