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Security Firms Respond to “Google Dropping Windows” Report

FT Report Sparks Responses From More Than Just Microsoft

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Rumor has it that Google is not using Windows internally anymore, and security companies don’t necessarily find this to be a great solution if security is the concern. More than one has emailed WebProNews with reactions to this story.

The Financial Times posted a somewhat controversial article on Monday talking about Google phasing out the internal use of Microsoft Windows due to security concerns. This information came from "several Google employees", the publication said, through apparently not through any official confirmation from the company itself. "In early January, some new hires were still being allowed to install Windows on their laptops, but it was not an option for their desktop computers," reported the Financial Times. "Google would not comment on its current policy."

Well, a lot of other people had comments. For one, Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc had this (and more) to say on the Windows Blog (via PC World):

Google not using Windows could inspire others to do the same, say security companies When it comes to security, even hackers admit we’re doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else. And it’s not just the hackers; third party influentials and industry leaders like Cisco tell us regularly that our focus and investment continues to surpass others.

Symantec tells WebProNews that trying to improve security by getting rid of a particular platform is a misconception for 2 reasons:

- Firstly, the main security risks are not rooted in the underlying platform; most attack activity is aimed at web browsers, plug-ins or humans making bad security choices

- One platform is no less vulnerable than another; it is often not a matter of whether an application is vulnerable, but whether someone spends time finding the vulnerabilities and fixing them – however the more popular applications are most likely to be attacked

Trusteer CEO Mickey Boodaei says, "Enterprises that are considering shifting to an operating system like Mac or Linux should realize that although there are less malware programs available against these platforms, the shift will not solve the targeted attacks problem and may even make it worse."

"Mac and Linux are not more secure than Windows," he adds. "They’re less targeted. There is a big difference. If you choose a less targeted platform then there is less of a chance of getting infected with standard viruses and Trojans that are not targeting you specifically. This could be an effective way of reducing infection rates for companies that suffer frequent infections."

Trusteer tells us that reports that Google is planning to drop Windows for security reasons may lead other enterprises to follow this practice.

Security Firms Respond to “Google Dropping Windows” Report
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  • http://www.womenspanties.biz Guest

    Trusteer are right, Symantec too…
    Some news about Google Chrome OS?

  • Stupidscript

    Trusteer are *not* correct, and neither are Symantec.

    They are playing off the thinking that the exposure of Windows makes it *seem* less secure because it gets attacked so frequently, however it has been proven [url=http://www.esecurityplanet.com/views/article.php/3665801/Linux-vs-Windows-Which-is-Most-Secure.htm]again[/url] and [url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/22/security_report_windows_vs_linux/]again[/url] that, in fact, Linux *is* more secure than Windows. (There are lots more … Google ‘em.)

    While it is true that you can add a bunch of stuff to Windows to secure it, claiming that that makes the OS more secure is like claiming that this armored tank is more secure than that sports car. If you have to install a bunch of crap just to have some peace of mind, it’s not worth it.

    I’m not saying that jumping to the untested Chrome OS would be a better security move … I’m just saying that companies with a vested interest in spooking Windows users shouldn’t be used as quote sources in a technical article. Of course, this isn’t a technical article … it’s about “security firms” responding to a major vendor dumping their lifeblood … so it’s not too surprising that they are knee-jerking against that decision, or that their responses are included here.

    BTW, to provide some of the disclaimers that the article should have done: Trusteer makes a product designed to “secure” browsers for Windows and Mac (not Linux, oddly …). Symantec … well … we all know what Symantec does for Windows and Mac users (again, no Linux …).

    It would be more interesting if “real” security firms had some comment, but it’s not much of a story when spokespeople for companies that depend on the Windows and Mac malware industry continuing to thrive speak out against Google abandoning one of their platform targets.

  • Guest

    Open Source the best way to deter hackers