Google Dusts Windows Over Security, Report Says

Google Inc. employees are complaining about security issues surrounding Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, contending that weaknesses in the software exposed the search giant to attacks by Chinese hackers earlier this year, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Based on the security concerns, Google has implemented an informal policy to move away from Windows PCs either to Apple Computer Inc's machines or PCs running Linux, according to anonymous employees quoted by FT writers David Gelles and Richard Waters.

Windows has long said to be more vulnerable to hacker attacks, the frequency of which perhaps owes to its dominance in the market.

The FT report suggested that Google's turn away from Windows has been going on for a number of months, quoting employees as saying that as of this past January, only a handful of new hires were allowed to install Windows on their laptops but not on desktop machines.

The move toward open-source PCs and Macs is partly driven by Google's desire to run the company on its own products, including its impending Chrome OS, according to employees quoted in the FT report.

Google has not commented directly on the report.

It took Microsoft a day to respond but the software giant answered with a blog entry on its web site.

"The facts don't support the assertion," wrote Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc. "When it comes to security, even hackers admit we're doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else."

LeBlanc went on to say how a new report detailed the assault on Macs by high-risk malware and listed Microsoft's checklist of security related actions and recommendations, ranging from shipping security and software updates to customers as soon as possible to SmartScreen Filter on IE8.

"Third-party influentials and industry leaders like Cisco tell us regularly that our focus and investment continues to surpass others," LeBlanc said.



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