What’s the Real Reason Google Stopped Using Windows

by Anya Jennings on June 18, 2010

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The headline of a Financial Times on-line article shouts Google ditches Windows on security concerns. According to the article, a security breech that occurred at its offices in China has prompted Google to remove Microsoft’s Windows operating system from all of its company’s desktop computers.  Google is currently giving new employees the option to choose between Apple Macs and PCs running Linux. An anonymous Google employee told the Times that:

… We’re not doing Windows operating system because of security concern.

… Many people have been moved away from Window’s PC’s, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks.

Google, which has over 10,000 employees internationally, started phasing out Windows earlier this year.

Security concerns the real reason?

Was the security concern cited by Google as reasoning for eliminating Windows really true?  The Financial Times article also quoted an employee who, referring to Google’s decision to eliminate Windows, stated the obvious    “A lot of it is an effort to run things on Google product. They want to run things on Chrome.”

It’s a smart business decision by Google to begin using its own operating system rather than to continue giving money to a competitor. However the competition between Google and Microsoft is not just between Chrome OS and Windows.  Google is now competing with Microsoft across several major platforms:

  • Google vs. Bing – search engines of course – Although Google held a 65.7 percent market share in January of 2010, Microsoft Bing is gaining market share. At the end of 2009, after five straight months of gains, according to comScore search Bing accounted for 10.7 percent of search queries in the United State an increase of 0.4 percent. Additionally, by the end of 2010, Bing will be powering Yahoo! search.
  • Google Cloud Aps vs Microsoft Office – Google cloud applications like Google Docs are being marketed as substitutes for Microsoft Office. According to an article from Information Week, “With Google Docs, Google aims to create an online substitute for the Microsoft Office suite, allowing users to create, edit and share documents online, plus offline with the addition of Google Gears.”
  • Windows Mobile Apps vs. Google’s AndroidAfter only two years Google’s Android Smartphone has captured 9.6% percent of the Smartphone market. However, those who support the rapidly growing Google Android “open source” based mobile device market are in for a disappointment.  Microsoft will possibly be collecting royalty fees from the sale of Google’s Android based mobile devices because of patent infringement agreements.
    • Microsoft Corp., the world’s biggest software maker, is demanding patent royalties from mobile-phone makers that use Google Inc.’s Android operating system.
    • HTC Corp., which makes Google’s Nexus One mobile phone, has agreed to pay under a patent licensing agreement.
  • Google Chrome OS vs. Windows – Google Chrome OS is an attempt to eat away at Microsoft Windows’s 91.3% OS market share.Not content with having launched its Chrome browser to rival Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, or Android to take on the Windows Mobile system or even Gmail, which has very successfully gone head to head with Microsoft’s Hotmail, the war of the operating systems has begun.

Microsoft Finally has Some Real Competition

According to ZDnet, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in an interview stated that his company “missed the mobile phone software curve and is now playing catch-up. However, mobile “is a dynamic market” and Microsoft could make a comeback.

Whether it’s mobile, desktop, productivity software, e-mail or search engines, Microsoft is still dominant in some areas, and playing catch up in others. Overall, the software giant is starting to see see some real competition in the marketplace.

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