Google HQ Throwing Out Windows in Favor of OS X or Linux

Illustration for article titled Google HQ Throwing Out Windows in Favor of OS X or Linux

Not just content with having a free canteen filled to the brim with delicious food, free childcare and every other perk known to man, Google is now replacing employees' operating systems, throwing out Windows in favor of OS X.

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The official line is because they're concerned over security risks associated with using Windows—largely in part thanks to their Chinese arm being hacked earlier in the year. While it's not yet been a clean sweep for the OS change, new hires are being offered the choice of OS X or even Linux. Anyone who wishes to remain using Windows needs clearance from "quite senior levels," according to an anonymous employee the Financial Times spoke to.

What of Chrome, you might be wondering? That nameless employee said "they want to run things on Chrome," but presumably it's not yet possible. [FT]

DISCUSSION

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When fully patched, Windows is more secure than OSX and Linux combined. If you compare vulnerability rates, severity, and frequency rates of the major OSes and then, here's the important part, scale those numbers according to desktop market share, Windows comes out significantly ahead. OSX and Linux have approximately 10% of the desktop. So for every vulnerability found and fixed, assume that hackers aren't interested in finding the remaining 8 or 9 others that are hidden at the same level. Interestingly, both OSX and Linux seem to have vulnerability rates at or higher than Windows just by observing CVE reports for a few months. Even with the significantly smaller market share, this says to me that OSX and Linux are 8 to 9 times less secure than Windows.