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Windows Use Said To Be Restricted at Google

Using Windows requires approval at the CIO level at Google, according to unnamed employees cited in an FT article. New employees have the choice of using the Mac operating system or Linux. The restriction was described as a security measure in response to attacks on Google headquarters by Chinese hackers in December.

The attacks on Google and other companies were traced to a flaw in Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows. In February, Google reacted by pulling support for IE 6 on its Google Docs and Google Sites portals.

A spokesperson for Google today would not confirm that Google has such a restriction on Windows use by its employees, nor did he confirm that security was the issue.

"We're always working to improve the efficiency of our business, but we don't comment on specific operational matters," the Google spokesperson stated on Tuesday via e-mail.

Google is currently working on its own operating system, called Google Chrome OS, which will be capable of connecting to the Internet without relying on another operating system, according to descriptions by company officials. Netbooks running Chrome OS are scheduled to be available "towards the end of the year," a Google spokesperson told Wired.

The security of Chrome OS is one of the aspects touted by Google. Users will not be able to install binaries on the machines as all applications will be accessed through the Internet. The file system will be read only and Google will check on bootup that the system is running what it's supposed to be running, according to descriptions by Google officials.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 Tom

Neither is a joke and both are respectable often times yielding very similiar results - use whatever makes you happy.

Wed, Jun 2, 2010

Bing is a joke, in my opinion. Cutting off support for an old browser is pretty standard. IE6 won't even load on Windows 7, why should anyone else have to support it if Microsoft doesn't?

Wed, Jun 2, 2010

Google is a joke - use Bing.

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 NEIL USA

Why in this world Google employees still using IE6? I wonder if Google knows how to apply Windows Updates? Why not use the highly advertised Google Chrome? Are they afraid eating their own Dog Food?

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 Troy

Do you have a PC? Probably, to the uninitiated, and they might like the fact that they can't break it. Will it work? Will they trust Google? *shrug* Greed? You should read this: Browser version problems? Because Google is mostly a browser interface based business, having old browsers lying around should not seem strange, it should seem more "essential". But you have to cut off the old crap sometime because there is too much new crap to support.

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 USA

If you have a "device" that is read only, can not load and run any executables and can not be altered by you, do you really have a PC? (Or do you have a CC? Captive Computer)

Wed, Jun 2, 2010

If it wouldn't be for Microsoft, Google would not be where it is today. Seems Google has fogotten which company did more to expand computer usage on a daily basis by regular users. Just goes to show, that Google is just another big money machine taken over by greed.

Wed, Jun 2, 2010

LoB apps are sometimes a while behind the browser drag curve in a company of Googles size.. but it's still a little slack I agree.

Tue, Jun 1, 2010 ditto

I share the sentiment. How long has 7 or 8 for that matter been out? Each browser has its strengths, but not running a current version is pretty sad.

Tue, Jun 1, 2010

IE 6? cut me some slack. why aren't they on ie8, or chrome for that matter?

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