Google To Microsoft Windows: Take A Hike

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Citing security concerns that stem from Google's Chinese operations being hacked earlier this year, Google has been shifting employees to operating systems other than Windows since January, according to reports in the Financial Times quoting "several Google employees."

"We're not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort," one Google employee told the Financial Times. Another added that "Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks."

Reports indicate that new Google hires are now given the choice to run Mac on Apple computers or the Linux operating system on PCs. "Linux is open source and we feel good about that," the Financial Times quoted one employee as saying. "Microsoft we don't feel so good about."

If an employee wants to continue to use the Windows operating system, approval must come down from senior levels.

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Google did not comment directly on the Windows exodus; the search giant told Reuters in a statement : "We're always working to improve the efficiency of our business, but we do not comment on specific operational matters."

Google's shift off of Windows could also be paving the way for a Google move to its own Chrome operating system, which is expected to be officially released in the second half of this year.

"A lot of it is an effort to run things on Google product," one employee told the Financial Times. "They want to run things on Chrome."

That same employee continued: "Before the security, there was a directive by the company to try to run things on Google products. It was a long time coming."

The migration off of Windows follows what Google has called a "highly sophisticated" cyber attack in January that infiltrated Google's network and exposed data. Google fingered China as the source of the attack, claiming that hackers lifted intellectual property as well as the Gmail accounts of human rights activists. Google immediately threatened to pull its business out of China, but has since reconsidered the move.

In response to the hacks, Microsoft hustled to release patches to fix vulnerabilities. Microsoft researchers at the time said a flaw in Internet Explorer 6 was exploited during the Chinese attack on Google.