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Google Reportedly Ditching Windows 1003

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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  • Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cougem ( 734635 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:12PM (#32413098)
    'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.'

    However, they feel pretty good about a closed-source implementation of an open source operating system on locked-in hardware? This sounds rather flamebaity and very light on facts.
    • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:13PM (#32413112) Homepage Journal
      You're right: google should give all employees an iPad.
    • Re:Flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:14PM (#32413122) Journal
      Well, that's because Google is entirely populated by the hipster artsy types that /. maintains is the only type of Apple user. No informed users, no intelligent selection by PhD graduates, no conceivable advantage. No sir.

    • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <daengbo AT gmail DOT 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: []

      • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Informative)

        by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <daengbo AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:23PM (#32413196) Homepage Journal

        Aaaand ... after reading TFA, it confirms ChromeOS and dogfooding:

        Employees said it was also an effort to run the company on Google’s own products, including its forthcoming Chrome OS, which will compete with Windows. “A lot of it is an effort to run things on Google product,” the employee said. “They want to run things on Chrome.”

        • Re:Flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Stan Vassilev ( 939229 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @06:02AM (#32416266)

          Aaaand ... after reading TFA, it confirms ChromeOS,

          Google is a software and software services company.

          They can't substantially eliminate Windows if they want to develop software for Windows, and they can't substantially replace Macs and Windows PC-s with Chrome OS if their designers want to run Photoshop and co.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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.

        • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:02PM (#32413460)

          You can run Office on a Mac. You can run iWork on a Mac. You can run NeoOffice on a Mac. You can run OpenOffice on Linux. Gmail or Zimbra can probably do nearly everything that they'd maybe need Exchange for, but I doubt Google used Exchange in the first place. Most of their engineers will probably pick Linux, and most of their "office droids" will probably get a Mac by default. A modern Linux or MacOS X desktop is hardly an Ultra5 with Solaris 8 with nasty purple CDE pretending XEmacs is a word processor.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zonker ( 1158 )

          I understand the point you are trying to make but it really isn't possible to compare how Google and Sun operate. Very different companies, cultures, mindset, visions. And that's ignoring the differences in computers too.

        • The Backstroke (Score:5, Informative)

          by fwarren ( 579763 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @05:58AM (#32416250) Homepage

          We'll see how long it takes Google to start frantically doing the back-stroke.

          I don't think we will see Google doing a backstroke anytime soon. When you think about how badly Google was compromised, and what someone could do to them if they are every compromised like that again. What are their options.

          1. Find a way to live without Microsoft and all the software that will ONLY run in a MS Environment.


          2. Give to it, take the easy way, run MS software and just expect that you can survive any system breach no matter how badly you are compromised.

          If it takes 5 years and a billion dollars, I am sure it will be worth it to Google in the long run. Also note. Google is not "talking" about switching. They are not trying to get a better price from Microsoft. They just quietly started to mandate that MS is not an option any longer.

      • by Fished ( 574624 ) <> on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:02PM (#32413458)
        Tell me... what IDE runs on ChromeOS? Where's the Emacs for Android? When I see that, we'll talk. Until then, I don't think that Google's going to be able to migrate it's most vital employees (engineers) to "eat their own dogfood." Might be interesting to migrate support staff, but that's not where the heart of Google is.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BillGod ( 639198 )
        Unless they make HUGE changes to the Chrome OS I don't see this as even a remote possibility. Have you tried the chrome OS? I have. Lack luster to say the least. Very limited in what it is capable of. If they ever make the move. You can bet it won't be the same OS we know today.
    • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

      by onefriedrice ( 1171917 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:07PM (#32413516)

      'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.' However, they feel pretty good about a closed-source implementation of an open source operating system on locked-in hardware? This sounds rather flamebaity and very light on facts.

      I think you've missed something. Read the sentence; they look at open source as a benefit and they feel good about it (Linux). That doesn't mean that the fact that Linux is open source is the only or even the biggest reason they like it. Obviously they also feel good about Mac OS X despite the fact that it's not 100% open source. Get it?

      Corporations choose what makes sense to increase their bottom line. To that end, they think Linux makes sense. The fact that Linux is open source is just icing on the cake.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cyberllama ( 113628 )

      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.


    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Locutus ( 9039 )
      Stay on target...
      It's the security stuff they are and are not feeling good about.

  • 2010... (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Grim Reefer2 ( 1195989 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:13PM (#32413108)

    The year of Linux on...

    Never mind.

    • Re:2010... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by williamhb ( 758070 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:44PM (#32413324) Journal

      The year of Linux on...

      Never mind.

      That may well be part of Google's intention. Microsoft and Google have long been trying to kill each other. Tech companies seemed to have a policy of trying to scorch some earth around their market -- pre-emptive strikes against companies that might move into their competitive market in the future. So, Microsoft spent large quantities of cash to kill Netscape and AOL. Google are spending much moer than they are earning on Google Docs to try to kill Microsoft's Office market. Microsoft are spending large quantities of cash to try to kill Google's search advertising market. And more recently Google are spending lots of cash to try to kill Microsoft's Windows market. Taking the pain of moving a lot of staff from one operating system to another sounds like another effort in that regard. They hit Microsoft in PR ("see, one of the world's biggest companies doesn't use Windows at all -- it's not necessary for business"), and they particularly boost Linux's desktop user base and market reputation (they also boost Apple, but Apple needs it less). Not to mention the extra 20% time that desktop Linux projects might soon be getting...

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:16PM (#32413144)

    Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google.

    Your friend,
    Steve Ballmer

    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:37PM (#32414252)

      Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google.

      It looks like you are trying to kill Google.

      Would you like help.
      * Hire a hitman.
      * Begin a smear campaing against them and sue by proxy.
      * Dance around the stage getting sweaty.

  • 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).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mschuyler ( 197441 )

      Wow! Symphony! Now THERE'S a cutting-edge technology! I remember the helicopters buzzing Manhattan in, umm, 1990 something, proclaiming. "We're cool! We're Lotus 1-2-3 in drag because now we incor[orate a word processor and, umm, Visiterm!" Next up: "Munich has disclosed that the entire city is dumping Windows for DOS 6.0"

      News at eleven.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MoralHazard ( 447833 )

      Everying f***ing time I hear somebody say "But I HAVE to keep Windows, for Visio!", I thank my lucky stars that I never learned that damn thing. OpenOffice Draw isn't quite as slick, but for 99% of the shit people don't think OODraw can do, the reality is that they're just to willfully ignorant to learn how OODraw can do it. And, bonus, I don't have to deal with the cognitive dissonance of justifying keeping a $200 OS for the sole purpose of running one app of dubious uniqueness.

  • 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.
  • Dogfooding (Score:3, Insightful)

    by srothroc ( 733160 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:21PM (#32413184) Homepage
    Google makes its own mobile platform (Android) and is working on another for general computing (Google Web OS), so it only makes sense that they'd move away from a closed, proprietary platform like Windows. If there are any Mac OS X machines, I'd imagine those are being migrated to something else as well... though some people may get clearance for software like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.

    Even for testing/development, they can just run virtual machines.
  • neato (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lobf ( 1790198 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:23PM (#32413198)
    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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:28PM (#32413218)

    On other news, RedHat announced it does not use Windows on its web servers and Apple announced that no employees use Windows Mobile phones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jc42 ( 318812 )

      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. ;-)

  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:41PM (#32413300) Homepage Journal

    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."

    So what they'll do is get a new linux machine, and install Windows as a "guest" OS in a second partition. It's not that hard these days, and google is reputed to have lots of smart people.

    Similarly, my wife telecommutes half time, and is required to run Windows XP at home. She talked to the nice folks at the Apple Store, who explained how to set her Mac up to run virtual OSs, and installed XP in a virtual partition. It works fine. She has since taught a few others at work to do the same, and they're all pretty happy with being able to run a real OS at home and only fire up the Windows that they all hate when they need to do some "work". She gave me her castoff Windows box, which is sitting in the corner running Debian linux and functioning as our firewall/gateway/server machine (and no doubt still listed as another sale to a satisfied Windows customer by MS's bean counters).

    And all this is nothing at very new, as far as the computer industry is concerned. Back in 1980, I had a job at a company that mostly used their big IBM mainframe, while the engineers were playing around with unix on some of those funny new "minicomputers". I'd worked on both, so I had the fun of getting together with some Amdahl folks, who delivered their unix that ran on top of VM. We installed it (over a lot of dead IBMer bodies ;-), so that the engineering staff could run their stuff on the mainframe. After a while, the big 360 machine with VM was running at least 10 different OSs simultaneously, with each group using the OS that best fit their needs. Granted, there were lots of fanboys who thought their OS was the one that everyone else should be using, but we just ignored them and went about our jobs. Now it's 30 years later, and the "personal computer" part of the industry is discovering this fantastic new idea called "virtual" computing that lets you run more than one OS at the same time ...

  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:56PM (#32413400)

    Every OS reaches an end point, not necessarily driven by only one thing.

    Apple reached the end with the Apple II, Mac OS9, and moved to UNIX.

    How is Microsoft going to break the legacy trail?

    They are going to throw a chair through all the Windows, maybe?

    How do you get rid of entrenched dispersed foe that attacks everything you do from inside your own OS?

    How many tens of millions of user hours are wasted every year on WinPCs just with the security stuff, which still is NEVER enough?

    My Guess: Never. They will Bleed Windows until competitors take their market share as users make the choice to abandon Windows.

    It is truly a strange situation where the dominant player is also the most attacked and yet in the last 5 years nothing in security seems to change.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yosho ( 135835 )

      Every OS reaches an end point, not necessarily driven by only one thing.

      Apple reached the end with the Apple II, Mac OS9, and moved to UNIX.

      How is Microsoft going to break the legacy trail?

      Do you mean like when they ditched the 9x kernel and switched to the NT kernel? And I suppose there are still some legacy remnants of the original NT kernel, but Windows 7 is vastly different from Windows NT4 or even 2000.

      • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @02:24AM (#32415260) Homepage

        Kernel aside, Windows 7 still has tremendous amounts of Legacy kruft behind it. The Registry is still just about the least secure and safe idea ever. NTFS is badly in need of modernization. The hardcoded folder hierarchies that underlie how Windows 7 handles files is amazingly archaic. I remember renaming and moving folders around willy-nilly in OS7 in 92. 18 years later, renaming a folder in Windows is just begging everything to break. They're up to about 60 control panels, since they can't re-organize any of them for fear of breaking other dependencies. When sharing a folder in Windows 7 you can share as a network folder share, a Windows Media share, or specific group shares, all with separate interaction points and methods. And have you looked through the Windows->System32 folder recently? Or how shortcuts are STILL handled?

        Windows is a hugely bloated with old kruft that is holding it back from being as intelligent, usable, or spry as it could be. When Apple switched from OS9 to OSX, they wrote a compatibility layer that pretended to be OS9 within the new structure that they were creating. They created a little sandbox for the old stuff to play in, while they end-of-lifed it. Microsoft has traditionally added to their existing structures, so as not to break true backwards compatibility with old software. This can be fortunate... I recently had to replace a dying 386, and the software from the mid 80's ran fine on a new Vista machine. But at the same time this means fundamental properties of the operating system remain badly dated. Even small things like how the operating system handles changing icons remains the same terrible implementation that Windows 95 had.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eskarel ( 565631 )

      The biggest threat to Microsoft is currently FUD.

      Just about the only thing which is likely to kill Microsoft is if they can't pry everyone off of XP which is an outdated, insecure pile of shit, which, for some reason, even people who know better seem to love. Even Vista for all its faults was better than XP, and Windows 7 is miles ahead of Vista. Things have changed quite a lot in the last 5 years, security wise and otherwise, but you're not going to see them if you don't leave an OS which is 9 years old.

      • 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.

  • by Fished ( 574624 ) <> on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:59PM (#32413424)
    This is the Financial Times, not the New York Post, Mac OS Rumors, or some random blog. This reminds me of when the Wall Street Journal was reporting that Apple was going to Intel, and Slashdot said, "Never going to happen." Of course, it did happen. Folks, when a major newspaper like the FT, WSJ, or New York Times reports something, it's probably true. Which makes this very interesting. I think the most interesting aspect will probably be that feature parity for things like Google Chrome will probably benefit--no longer will Chrome, or Google Toolbar, or Google Earth lag behind on Linux and Mac, because Google employees are using Linux or Macs, because now Google employees will be using Linux and Macs.
  • 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...

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

    by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:34PM (#32413732) 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DaMattster ( 977781 )
      Most companies can effectively use an entirely linux or bsd environment. The only hiccup tends to be in accounting software and engineering software. But for basic retail, legal, and doctor's offices, linux works superbly. Couple linux for the desktop with openbsd for routing and security and you have a money-saving, high-reliability solution.
  • Financials (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Que_Ball ( 44131 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:49PM (#32413866)

    I wonder what Google uses for an accounting package?

    Very hard to find accounting programs that do not require Windows OS.

    • Re:Financials (Score:5, Informative)

      by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @12:14AM (#32414498)

      Very hard to find SMALL BUSINESS accounting programs that do not require Windows OS

      Do you see now why that won't be a problem for Google?

    • 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.

  • 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.
  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @01:29AM (#32414906) Homepage

    As a network/systems administrator, Windows has little to no use left on the desktop any longer.

    Compared to alternatives (and there are many!) common Windows machines on the desktops are costly and relatively expensive to maintain (in terms of manpower and infrastructure): you've got complex SUS arrangements (due to in-house app compatibility, usually), AD (same reasons, as well as work flow) and malware contentions - just for starters. Compare that to pointing all workstations at (say) a local Ubuntu LTS repository cache or updating from Apple. A lot can be said about Windows ACLs and its other underpinnings, but keeping things secure while allowing users to work is not one of them.

    Additionally, the time and (domain) knowledge required to roll a minimalist Linux distro vs. a minimalist, locked-down Windows install (ie a 'thinclient image') is significantly different. With one, you've got a maintainable minimalist system that uses negligible resources to update; the other is pretty much a custom hack which will require significant efforts to update. I'll let you figure which is which.

    The average user uses no more than 3 or 4 applications in a large environment, from what I've seen. There aren't many people who multi-role: they've got their own world and aside from a web browser, might touch one or two apps on a given day. For these apps, you've got things like Citrix Presentation Server or Windows Server 2008 remote applications. Centralize the common stuff when you can, so it's easier to maintain, update, etc.

    As for Google, my experience has been (with the technical crowd) that those actually developing for Open Source type environments, having your development environment be similar to your production environment is a wee bit helpful. Aside form things like Picasa, I can't see much of a need for Windows; indeed, there's likely not even a preference for Windows at Google, short of the occasional mathematician. The yuppie post-graduate degreed geek seems to prefer Apple.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer