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Google Reportedly Ditching Windows 1003

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-ok-microsofties-use-bing dept.
Reader awyeah notes a Financial Times report that Google is ditching the use of Windows internally. Some blogs have picked up the FT piece but so far there isn't any other independent reporting of the claim, which is based on comments from anonymous Googlers. One indication of possibly hasty reporting is the note that Google "employs more than 10,000 workers internationally," whereas it's easy enough to find official word that the total exceeds 20,000. "The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google's Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google. ... 'We're not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,' said one Google employee. ... New hires are now given the option of using Apple's Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. 'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.' ... Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from 'quite senior levels,' one employee said. 'Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,' said another employee."
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Google Reportedly Ditching Windows

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:12PM (#32413100)

    I am curious if long term this will help security. Windows is the prime target for attackers, but I'm sure there are many 0-day exploits waiting in other operating systems. However, if administered right, Windows can be pretty secure.

    Time will tell if this actually reduces compromises. I'm interested in seeing the results over the long term, just to be objective.

  • I'd love to see.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:14PM (#32413120)

    .....if Microsoft employees can ditch Google.

    That will be the true test of Google's influence.

  • by jimpop (27817) * on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:17PM (#32413158) Homepage Journal

    I recently left IBM, but while I was there, there was considerable effort to eliminate M$ products. Symphony was being pushed out over MS Office, and Apple netbooks were an available option in some areas. Obviously IBM has a love for Linux, and the Linux folk there are doing everything they can to make it perfectly acceptable, and usable, to use Linux internally. For all of my 4 years at IBM I used Debian and then Ubuntu on my work thinkpad (but I kept a XP partition for Visio).

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:18PM (#32413164) Homepage Journal
    If Microsoft employees can't even ditch their iPods and iPhones [pcmag.com], why would they give up teh Google?
  • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daengbo (523424) <daengboNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:19PM (#32413170) Homepage Journal

    Well, I think they're headed to ChromeOS long-term. While this particular report may be true or not since it's based on anonymous sources, Eric Schmidt himself said that this would be Google's response during the Atmosphere event. He also indicated that they're moving toward eating their own dog food at every level, and that wasin or around a discussion of ChromeOS (I'm going from memory). I took the interview as a whole to be an indication that Google wanted to move to ChromeOS and Apps for as much of the internal stuff as it could.

    Here is a report of the interview: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20002315-265.html [cnet.com]

  • My prediction... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stimpleton (732392) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:20PM (#32413174)
    I thought the next big thing to hit MS by Google actions was to make HTML5 the new YouTube installer(apart from the beta html5). This would represent the next most significant milestone over the inception of Google Search itself.

    But this is up there. For Joe and Jane Public, google is hip, trustworthy, and useful everyday.

    Perhaps more than any other effort, this may influence significantly the perception of school aged people and Operating Systems. When that tipping point comes, MS is in serious trouble.
  • Re:Flamebait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Third Position (1725934) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:25PM (#32413206)

    Eric Schmidt must have a short memory. Wasn't he still at Sun when they tried the "eat your own dog food" approach with Solaris there?

    Whatever the technical virtues of Solaris, it turned out to be a miserable environment for the kind of productivity apps your typical office droid needed to have access to. We'll see how long it takes Google to start frantically doing the back-stroke.

  • by lseltzer (311306) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:46PM (#32413334)

    Something definitely seems wrong with the story. Remember, the system that was compromised at Google was an XP system running IE6 and logged in as administrator. IOW, they made no serious attempt to secure it. From this they jump all the way to banning Windows?

    For the sort of targeted attack that hit Google an off-the-shelf Mac system is at least as vulnerable as an off-the-shelf Windows system. Surely Google knows this.

    (My take: http://blogs.pcmag.com/securitywatch/2010/05/google_dropping_windows_for_in.php [pcmag.com])

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:59PM (#32413432)

    "Cloud Computing" is just Timeshare 2.0.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:00PM (#32413436) Journal

    So Google employees don't use the client software they themselves produce, considering that a lot of it is still Windows-only?

    I would be particularly curious about Google's own GTalk client...

  • Re:RedHat and Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jc42 (318812) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:03PM (#32413482) Homepage Journal

    Actually, RedHat and Apple both tried to get some employees to use Microsoft computers and phones, so that they'd have people on staff that were familiar with the MS products. But most the employees flatly refused. The few that went along with the requests also quietly updated their resumes, and quit after a month or two. This can be really frustrating if you're seriously trying to test your equipment against the other major products on the market. ;-)

  • Not a big suprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anon-Admin (443764) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:34PM (#32413732) Homepage Journal

    It has always surprised me how few companies run linux on the desktop. I have personal converted about 30 in the last 10 years, all of which were mom and pop places with less than 100 seats. Google using Chrome would not surprise me. 90% of the office desktop users dont need more than a browser, office platform, and maybe e-mail assuming the company does not have a web based e-mail. I have heard many geeks say it is not ready for the desktop based on a list of reasons but the general office user has such a small software need that it fits nicely..

    The last company I migrated over to linux was a rush job. They needed it done in a short window before the inspection of there licences. I set up 1 server with home directory shares in both NFS and Samba, ldap, dns, printers, and DHCP. There were 3 desktop configs, 1) for users that had with firefox, OpenOffice, and google chat. 2) for managers that had that plus planner, and Dia. 3) was for upper management that had everything from the first two plus a few specialized things that one VP seemed to think he needed like bit torrent and an RSS feed reader.

    Everyone got the basics like a calculator, archive manager, Notepad, etc.

    All in all they run smooth, easy access to pen drives etc. Windows Laptops could be pointed at the server and after logging in would get the users home directory allowing them to easily move data between there laptop and the desktop. The remote home directories and ldap logins meant that users could login at any desktop and do there work. All the desktops were the same for a given group so if one failed it was simply replaced and a new image installed (Totalling about 45 min install time) Top this off with no viruses, spy ware, or bot software and the desktops were locked down with only a couple of open ports. So far every company I have done this for has loved the setup.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:38PM (#32413770) Homepage Journal

    And, what exactly is ChromeOS? I haven't fooled with it in a couple months - but the last time I looked, ChromeOS was just a highly customized Cloud Linux.

    Google may or may not be working on their own kernel, but to date, there is no indication that they are.

    So, the premise that Google is moving to Mac and Linux still stands, no matter how much ChromeOS may figure into the equation.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Golias (176380) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:39PM (#32413786)

    Really? I find it EXTREMELY useful in the music studio. I guess I missed the memo that this is not supposed to be the case.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gig (78408) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:43PM (#32413814)

    > Remember, the only serious thing an iPad is good
    > for is serious content consumption

    Bullshit. You add an accessory Bluetooth keyboard and it turns into a PC replacement that easily replaces XP for most users.

    For office workers and business people there is a WebEx app, Keynote/Pages/Numbers office suite, Salesforce, and many other business-focused apps. Exchange is built-in. These users can easily switch from a 10 year old XP that they still haven't mastered to a new iPad they can easily become expert in without training. I've already seen users do this at an office where I consult. Just switching them from Outlook to iPad is like setting them free from jail. For many of them, half their computer use is email and Outlook is a FUCKING JOKE. The mobility is also very liberating, because they go to a lot of meetings and they can take iPad and show a presentation to a group very easily, or refer to email while they meet without the barrier of a notebook.

    Even for creative workers, iPad has sketching-level tools where you can start art or music or photography projects that you later take to a Mac. But for office workers, it is a self-contained total PC replacement. For many writers also. Even with the Apple Wireless Keyboard iPad is half the weight and size of a netbook and has double the battery for long uninterrupted writing sessions wherever you are.

    An iPad is not typically going to replace a Mac or Linux system, where users are often writing code of some kind (e.g. an AppleScript workflow or HTML or a shell script or PHP development) and have some mastery of the system. But Windows? Fuck yeah. Most Windows is antique XP, and most of the users fight with it all day, they work around it, not with it. They use it as a typewriter, which with an accessory Bluetooth keyboard, iPad can easily replace.

    You can't make assumptions about iPad based on previous tablets. The reason iPad has already outsold all previous tablets put together is iPad is different from them in every way.

    Anyone who is using Windows would be better with something else. For some it is a Mac, for some Linux, and some iPad. In all 3 cases, almost no training is required if you give them to the right users. Certainly much less than XP to Windows 7. In every case you will get lower maintenance costs and higher reliability and security and productivity. In all 3 cases you're on a modern, open source Unix core with a modern, open source HTML5 browser.

     

  • by Trufagus (1803250) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:49PM (#32413868)
    That doesn't really make sense. We are just reaching a point in time when Google realizes that Apple is a bigger threat to their business then Windows ever was (Windows users have the option of installing alternate codecs, browser, toolbars, etc), and Windows has finally got its security act together, and NOW Google is going to switch from Windows to Mac?
  • by BaldingByMicrosoft (585534) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:02PM (#32413956)
    This makes me curious from a desktop administration perspective. Windows, for all its problems, has a great ecosystem of enterprise management tools for things like software installation and inventory, hardware inventory, health monitoring and more. All the stuff you need to effectively manage a large fleet of workstations with a few techs is available.

    Most developers I know make poor system administrators, so it's hard to believe they take a completely laissez-faire approach to desktop management. Also, Google Docs seems like a really poor substitute for file shares on an enterprise NOS and directory service -- it's the "cloud" equivalent of a peer-to-peer LAN network when it comes to security structures.
  • Re:Flamebait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cyberllama (113628) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:13PM (#32414034)

    Sigh, badmouth Apple on Slashdot and get modded down, no matter how accurate your post may be. Oh well. I expect I'll suffer the same fate, but I'll weigh in nonetheless. I have karma to spare.

    You also forgot to mention that if this shift is really for security reasons, MacOS is hardly an improvement over Windows -- in fact it may well be a downgrade. It derives most of its security through obscurity, but as competitions like pwn2own show us -- if people have a motivation they will find an exploit.

    It's almost twilight zoneish to say it, but Microsoft has become sort of a leader in security as of late (admittedly they are extremely late to the bandwagon) as they've embraced fuzzing and other sorts of tools that many others in the industry have not yet latched on to.

    It would make perfect sense if they were moving to Linux only -- an operating system that is free in both senses of the word, but allowing continued use of MacOS but not Windows seems a bit hypocritical.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:38PM (#32414256)

    Most Windows is antique XP

    I'll have you know, Mr. Smarty Pants, that my wife's machine is antique-er W2k. And it works beautifully. I originally tried to treat Windows releases like Star Trek movies in an effort to skip the shitty releases. But they're all shitty really, so that got me nowhere fast. Now I'll buy a new Windows release when we get her a new machine. Then the OS is priced fairly; like maybe US$20.00.

  • by bloodhawk (813939) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:40PM (#32414284)

    The automatic sharing of the C: drive as \\hostname\c$\, for example, has been nearly impossible to turn off for even a competent systems administrator without ripping out parts of the operating system you may want.

    have to disagree, most competent admins know how to search knowlegde base articles. Took all of about 8 seconds to find the KB articles that describe the registry settings in detail. eg. heres the windows 2003 one. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816524 [microsoft.com]

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:44PM (#32414310)

    It seems pretty self evident that you have little to no experience in the corporate IT environment, and that your nothing more than a mac fan boy. The Ipad CANNOT replace a PC for every day use, its to slow, its to locked down. I can't run 80% of the software my employees are required to run for every day functions. Can you build a work environment that will work with the model you lay out. Sure, and I can build a surfboard out of a piece of steel, that doesn't make it a good idea, a flexible idea, or a user friendly one. The environment you keep laying out with your mac zealotry is bullshit and will not work as a replacement for existing infrastructure. There are to many factors already in place to go about replacing everything just to give users new toys which they will walk off the job with, loose, break, steal etc. Is XP old, yes...is it really that expensive or difficult to replace it with win 7, frankly no. Most large organizations that are running windows have enterprise agreements with MS, MEANING that migration is going to be very cheap compared to replacing their entire infrastructure with MAC units, migrating all of their software and databases to MAC comparable options and reconfiguring their entire network to use a toy that will only turn into a liability, and won't serve most functions around the office. One of the biggest examples of what the Ipad WON'T do for you, is print to 99% of the network printers in the office. Apple is out of its mind if it expects to drag in enterprise customers with the Ipad, its to difficult to manage, develop for, deploy new software on, and you never know what Apple is going to do to it next, apple is unpredictable with their app store, and good luck getting a utility or tool on the device without Jobs approval.
    Do I like MS....no
    Do I want linux....maybe
    Do I want S. Jobs telling me how to run my network hell no. Do You?

    Sure, new toys and new tools are great, but they have to fit into the existing paradigm, they have to be cost effective, and they have to make my life easier, not make me rework the last 15 years worth of investment to use it.

  • Or the denial of service attacks possible against an Internet-exposed Exchange server because it simply cannot handle a reasonable amount of direct SMTP traffic, especially broadly distributed spambots?

    That is so true. Our Exchange server was falling over at least a couple times a week, even though it was on a fresh install on good hardware and run by a competent admin. It just couldn't stand up to all the dictionary attacks and other jackassery thrown at it. I installed a FreeBSD+Postfix server in front of the Exchange server and configured it to learn which usernames were valid on the Exchange, set up Spamassassin, and let it go. We literally haven't had a single unplanned outage on Exchange since that day.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:57PM (#32414392)

    The iPad is a joke- a toy- a gimmick. My phone can do most things that a 10 year old XP machine can do and you don't see users switching over to it. Get over it. Apple isn't the most amazing thing in the world. They put out crappy products that are overpriced, cheap underneath, become outdated quickly, and suck. You can't do half the stuff you should be able to do on a Mac that you can on an up-to-date PC with GNU/Linux or MS Windows because Apple discontinues its support after just a handful of years, uses obscure proprietary hardware, and other lock-ins. In fact they are worse then Microsoft. Despite what people say about Apple being based on free software the truth is they only rip off the good code to cut costs. It just sucks for users in the end.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @12:13AM (#32414492)

    It seems rather obvious in oneself that you have little with any experiment in of corporation HE environment, and that your nothing more than one boy of ventilator raincoat. Ipad CANNOT substitute a PC for each use of day, its to slow down, its locked downwards. I can' the series 80% of T of software my employees are required to function for functions of each day. Can you establish an work environment which will function with the model that you present. Sour, and me can build a board of surfing out of part of steel, this doesn' T make him an good idea, a flexible, or user-friendly idea. The environment that you continue to present with your fanaticism of raincoat is stupidity and will not function like replacement for the existing infrastructure. There is with many factors already in place to go to substitute approximately just to give to users the new toys with which they will go in addition to work, cowards, rupture, steal etc Is XP old man, yes it is really which expensive or difficult to replace it by victory 7, frankly No Most great organizations which are the current windows have company agreements with the millisecond, TO MEAN that the transfer will be very cheap compared to replacing their whole infrastructure by units of MAC, to carry out all their software and databases with the comparable options of MAC and to modify their whole network to use a toy which will change only of responsibility, and the won' service of T most functions around the office. One of the greatest examples of what it Ipad WON' T make for you, is copy with 99% of the printers network in the office. Apple is out of its spirit if it intends to trail in customers of company with Ipad, its with difficult to control, to develop for, deploy the new software in function, and you never know which Apple will make with him then, apple is unforeseeable with their memory of $$etAPP, and good luck obtaining a utility or a tool on the device without approval of work.
    I make like the millisecond.not
    I want Linux.perhaps
    I want S. Jobs saying to me how to manage my network not. Do you make?

    The sure and new toys and the new tools are large, but they must form part of the existing paradigm, they must be profitable, and they must facilitate my life, not to encourage me to improve the 15 last years of value of investment to use it.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @12:44AM (#32414674)

    People managed to check email, schedule tasks and appointments, manage contacts and keep notes before Outlook came on the scene.

    Some of us have managed to do all of these things for a decade or longer without ever having used Outlook at all.

    I've worked for 2 of the biggest software companies in the world -- both of which forbid the use of Outlook on any machines connecting to company networks without authorisation from someone at the EVP level or higher. Both companies standardised on Thunderbird/Mozilla Mail years ago.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @12:49AM (#32414694)
    Personally I've found Pages/Numbers and OO//Calc to be pretty terrible compared to MS Office. That said, at the last company I was at our Receptionist / Office Manager used a Mac and had no problems. So its doable.
  • Re:Flamebait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @01:11AM (#32414818) Homepage

    What exactly do you use it for in the music studio?
    I can't think of any useful task it could perform.

  • Re:2010... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @01:34AM (#32414940)

    This could also be just an intelligent financial move. Remember that Open Office started not just because Sun was fighting with Microsoft, but because it was cheaper for them to buy the rights to an entire office suite than to buy licenses for MS Office. I'm guessing buying everyone Macs will be more expensive overall, but everyone who jumps to Linux will save the company quite a bit.

    Also, Google uses a Linux backend, so more Linux exposure to their internal teams can only be good for them. That will hopefully help drive forward ChromeOS development, which is also Linux based. It means that any major company that deals with Google will have to accept documents (and dollars) in one open format or another. Are we on the verge of people accepting Google Docs resumes? ...Probably not, but one can dream.

    This makes lots of sense. Hopefully they don't forget windows users entirely. Sketch-up still needs to run, as does Google calendar's outlook sync functions. But aside from that, this is a pretty major coup.

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @01:41AM (#32414982) Homepage

    You're modded funny, I think, because the treat (as manifest by FUD) is big.

    Microsoft is pushing to get people off XP and onto 7 because, frankly, there's little incentive to go to 7 over something else if your internal policy has been "let's stick with XP and Office 2003 and wait for the next big release". Guess what? Moving from XP and O2003 to Linux (whether GNOME or KDE or something else) with OpenOffice is a smaller jump for most people than W7 and o2k7. And that's the problem Microsoft is facing.

  • Re:Financials (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stuntmonkey (557875) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @01:49AM (#32415036)

    I wonder what Google uses for an accounting package? Very hard to find accounting programs that do not require Windows OS.

    Corporate accounting? General ledger, accounts payable, that sort of thing? No company of Google's size would do that with a Windows-based application. They would likely do accounting with SAP or Oracle, probably running in a Unix environment of some kind. Both of these have web UIs nowadays, so all the employees who need access can use any OS they want.

  • Unpatched 5% (11 of 217 Secunia advisories)

    That's the important part. Linux always has more vulnerabilities publicly found and fixed due to it being open source, a process which leads to a more secure system -- wouldn't you rather have a vulnerability found and fixed, or even found and marked "unpatched" on Securina, than found and exploited (hidden) elsewhere?

    And even more important is what those unpatched vulnerabilities actually are:

    A vulnerability has been reported in the Linux Kernel, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

    This is in the CIFS code, which presumably can be disabled. Should be fixed, but how many Linux systems actually need to defend themselves against local DoS attacks?

    Tony Griffiths has reported a vulnerability in the Linux Kernel, which can be exploited malicious, local users to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

    Another local DoS. And another, and another... Yawn. Let's skip to the good stuff:

    An error in the DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) drivers due to insufficient DMA lock checking can be exploited to crash the X server or modify video output.

    Modifying video output could be very bad, but also very hard to exploit in a way to make it worse than rickrolling you. And again, local.

    A race condition within the handling of "/proc/.../cmdline" may disclose the content of environment variables of spawning processes.

    In other words, there's a race condition (hard to exploit) which may disclose sensitive information in your environment variables to other procesess you run. I honestly can't think of a single case where this would reveal anything exploitable. Clearly, it should be fixed, but right now, you're welcome to my environment variables.

    A race condition within the memory management can be exploited to disclose the content of random physical memory pages.

    That could be very, very bad, but also very difficult to exploit. Again, local.

    The vulnerability is caused due to an unspecified error within the ide-cd SG_IO functionality. This allows a user with read-only access to bypass these permissions and perform write and erase operations on media in a drive.

    So, in other words, anyone who uses an IDE CD-RW drive is vulnerable. Otherwise, you need a lightning-quick exploit to grab someone's blank media and burn something evil to it. I'm quaking in my boots.

    The problem is caused due to signedness errors which can lead to integer overflows in the XDR decode functions in kNFSd. This can be exploited by sending packets with a write request larger than 2^31, causing the system to crash.

    In other words, doesn't affect people who don't run NFS, or specifically kernel NFS (there's a userland NFS now). Oh, and you need to be on the local network.

    Various functions in the IEEE 1394 driver contain integer overflows within the memory allocation scheme. This can potentially be exploited via specially crafted requests, which may cause a large amount of data to be copied into an insufficiently sized buffer.

    That's probably the most serious one I've seen -- possible privilege escalation -- but what privileges do I have to have to access the raw FireWire device anyway? I bet most users can't.

    So that brings it down to, what, one actually unpatched vulnerability that I'd be worried about. And it's still only local, and still a bitch to exploit.

    Now let's try the Windows ones. One is a remote exploit, which can be triggered merely by convincing an Aero user to view a given image. Another is a remote exploit which may allow people to manipulate SSL-encrypted streams.

    Security is not and never has been about numbers -- I only need one serious exploit.

    Also worth

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @02:42AM (#32415380)

    I was waiting for people to make apps using it as a DAW. The first time I saw it announced, I thought it would make an excellent control surface for a musician. It can either be used via BlueTooth or the connector as a graphical "dumb terminal" telling the music program running on a computer what dials and sliders the user has changed, or it has enough CPU to mix and do effects on some amount of music (I'd probably say at least 4 tracks at CD quality, possibly a lot more.)

    No, it wouldn't replace a 48 track mixing deck with motorized faders, but it can offer a musician a lot of control for a decent price that they wouldn't have otherwise.

  • Re:neato (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @04:11AM (#32415750)

    I'm not as smart as most of you slashdotters, but this seems smart in that they can write their own security updates with Linux, as opposed to waiting for Microsoft to fix them.

    Yes, but in order to do that they're also creating a budget to support the programmers doing that.

    A high-tech company with 20K+ employees pays at least $10,000,000 of licensing fees per year to Microsoft, with the most favourable volume licensing taken into account.

    That kind of money can fund about 50 OSS developers per year ($100K payroll + $100K cost, per person). More than enough to roll out your own security releases - and more.

    This only calculates the direct licensing overhead, it doesn't take into account other economic effects such as:

      - the cost of opportunity (by having 50 OSS developers you actually influence the direction of those OSS projects, in the company's favor.) You get no such benefit from paying $10m per year to Microsoft.
      - those OSS developers will be holding copyrights (and patents, if so inclined) in those OSS projects, giving legal protection to the company, against the competition. By paying $10m per year to Microsoft you don't get the rights to a single line of copyrighted code in Windows.
      - technical upgrades harmonize with your own business cycle. By paying $10m per year to Microsoft you don't get this.
      - PR advantages of being seen as a technology leader developing specific OSS projects. By paying $10m per year to Microsoft you don't get any of this.
      - no BSA blackmailing threat

    These days it's a no-brainer for a company with 20,000+ employees to run their own OSS division, and to gradually decouple from and protect against viral licensing entities like Microsoft. If you look at the S&P 100, most of the companies on that list are doing exactly that. We are 10 years past the 'Linux is just just a hobby' stage - now we are in the age of 'Linux means elementary business efficiency'.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:59AM (#32416256)

    No, the C API on Chrome OS and Android is closed. It's Google only.

    No it isn't. [android.com]

    HTML5 and Flash and Java applets only on Android.

    You can run Debian on Android [saurik.com]. It works fine. You can run GCC and compile whatever you want.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jnelson4765 (845296) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @07:54AM (#32416800) Journal
    When I talked to a Google recruiter a couple of years ago, they said that although you had a choice between Linux, OSX, and Windows, you would have a hard time as an engineer if you used Windows, as about the only people who used it were managers that were running Microsoft Project.
  • Re:Flamebait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:16AM (#32418032)

    it turned out to be a miserable environment for the kind of productivity apps your typical office droid needed to have access to

    That's weird... the developers in our office during the 90's had Solaris boxes and... nothing else. They had Netscape for email and web, and I think WordPerfect for word processing. I can't remember what, if anything, they used for spreadsheets. A few of them couldn't stand it and also got a PC with Windows or OS2 or ran Mac in emulation, but mostly they were fairly happy (for developers).

    The real whining started when our company got rid of the old unix email servers and forced everyone into Outlook on Windows.

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @11:49AM (#32419292)

    Visual Studio 2003 was the last time you needed to do dev as an admin, and only for certain things where it was just far simplier to be a dev, like working with ASP.NET which used IIS and required admin to edit the metadata database.

    Since they use Cassini or whatever the ASP.NET personal web server is now for dev rather than IIS by default there isn't a need anymore.

    You need debugging rights, which is effectively as good as admin rights on older versions of Windows, not so much on NT 6.x kernels (I haven't yet been able to sneak around anything with the debugger yet, but I've not really made an effort either, just tried the old tricks which no longer worked)

    You still need admin for driver work, but you're probably doing that in a virtual machine or on dedicated hardware with remote debugging, which is a special occasion where you can't really get around it on any OS.

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