I’m not sure Google has ever come out and said that they hope the future of computing doesn’t involve Windows. But we all know they’re thinking it. However, while they may think that way, it’s been hard to take that too seriously since most of the computers they do their work on likely run Windows. In the near future though, that may not be the case.
A new report tonight in the Financial Times suggests that Google is steering its employees away from using Microsoft’s dominant operating system in the workplace. In fact, the reports says that, “New hires are now given the option of using Apple’s Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system.” And it states that getting a computer running Windows may require permission as high up as Google’s CIO.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of this downplayed by Google over the next few days (the sources are all anonymous employees rather than spokespeople). But I also wouldn’t be surprised if it’s entirely true. Google does believe that it was vulnerabilities in Windows that lead to the infamous Chinese hacking incident earlier this year (which subsequently led them to pull out of China). They undoubtedly know that while they may have closed one hole, many others exist, and it’s only a matter of time until another incident happens again.
That is, unless they switch to one of the OSes much less popular with both users and hackers alike (and generally thought to be more secure): OS X and Linux. So that’s apparently what they’re trying to do.
Obviously, they’ll still have Windows machines around to test their services on. But what will be interesting to see is if Google continues their fairly standard PC-first, Mac/Linux-second roll-out strategy for new services (Chrome being one example). Google still needs their products to reach the most amount of eyeballs, and that still means Windows.
Google has been taking aim at Microsoft for years now. Google Docs, Gmail, Chrome, are some of their most obvious shots at Microsoft products. But even Android was originally sort of a way to attack Windows (by way of attacking Windows Mobile, and ensuring Microsoft didn’t maintain a foothold in the mobile space). And then, of course, there’s the upcoming Chrome OS.
Chrome OS will be Google’s most direct attack on Microsoft’s soul yet. It’s an operating system that you can run your computer off of without needing Windows at all. In Google’s mind, this is the future. Everything will be run through the browser, and besides a few locally stored things, everything will be in the cloud. There is no traditional software.
Such a future isn’t feasible for most users yet, but as Macs continue to gain popularity, a move to OS X increasingly is. By embracing OS X (and Linux) for work, Google seems to be leading by example. The message is that the alternative OSes are the preferred hold-overs until the Chrome OS dream can be fully realized.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...
Windows is a series of software operating systems produced by Microsoft. Windows was first introduced in 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world’s personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS, which had been previously introduced.
OS X is Apple’s computer operating system, which is pre-loaded on all Apple computers. Mac OS X is a Unix-based operating system, built on technology developed at NeXT between the second half of the 1980s and Apple’s purchase of the company in early 1996. It received UNIX 03 certification following its 10.5 version on Intel processors. OS X v 1.0 was released in 1999, with a second, desktop-oriented version released in March 2001. The most recent version is...