Google axes Windows, saves millions

Google axes Windows, saves millions

Summary: With 20,000+ employees, Google is set to save millions of dollars in licensing costs. Microsoft has really cryptic licensing rules, so coming up with an exact savings number would be almost impossible, but for sure it's a huge chunk of change.

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With 20,000+ employees, Google is set to save millions of dollars in licensing costs. Microsoft has really cryptic licensing rules, so coming up with an exact savings number would be almost impossible, but for sure it's a huge chunk of change.

Google is giving employees a choice between Mac or PC/Linux -- the reason apparently isn't cost, but security. Google still has a bitter taste in their mouth since the Chinese Government snuck their way into computers through a flaw in Internet Explorer 6, and gained access to really sensitive information.

Though their cited reason is security, I'm also betting there were some other reasons discussed before the decision was made. Some of the actual reasons behind the move probably included:

1) Security 2) Dogfooding Chrome OS 3) Money Savings 4) Stick it to Microsoft 5) Press

Security Yes, even though it's probably not really their primary reason, security is a real issue at Google. As long as people are using Windows inside the company, there are going to be some employees using IE 6 -- not exactly a good idea today. Also, since Microsoft Windows is the #1 desktop operating system, malware naturally targets it. It's true that other operating systems have viruses too (like Mac OS), but there are less.

Dogfood Chrome OS As the fall gets closer, Google needs to start using their own operating system in-house -- what they call dogfooding. Without months of real-life use of Chrome OS, the release will not be as smooth as it could be.

Money Savings There is lots of money to be saved by ditching Windows. Those licensing costs are likely absolutely sickening for anyone looking over expenses. Moving away from Windows is actually more feasible for Google than most software development companies -- they are not dependent on Microsoft Visual Studio to do their development work. Everything they do is web-based (using Java or Python) -- both of which ca be developed really easily using MacOS and Linux.

Stick it to Microsoft For every license they don't purchase, Microsoft loses money. Not only will they lose 20,000+ licenses for Windows at Google, other companies will take a look at this and possibly consider doing the same thing at their companies. Most won't bite, but there will definitely be a handful -- and it adds up quick.

Press A statement like this is big news, and easy press. Yes, I'm guilty!

Let's hear your take on the situation in the Talk Back!

Topics: Google, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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97 comments
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  • The FUD value is number one, but, since they are soon coming out with

    Chrome OS, it would look very bad to not be using it. And, the savings really adds up!!!!
    DonnieBoy
    • RE: Google axes Windows, saves millions

      @DonnieBoy
      >>The sky will not fall at Google without Windows. Quite the contrary, things will run a lot smother. Google also needs to eat their own dog food.

      If that is the case do they really have balls to stop
      1. Windows users to not get onto Google Servers, and tell them in order to use Google, they have to use either Linux or Mac OSX?
      2. developing desktop apps like Chrome, Google Earth, Picasa etc. for Windows completely? Last time when I heard, they are still developing the desktop apps?
      3. Can they stop development tools basing Windows like Android development for Windows users, like you have to use Mac OSX leopard or Snow Leopard (for iPhone 4.0 and up I think it is going to be only Snow Leopard, I am not sure) for iPhone Apps something like that only Linux boxes for Android Apps. I don't think they would that. If they do that, please come and tell me.
      --Ram--
      Ram U
      • RE: Google axes Windows, saves millions

        @Rama.NET With your wording, I'm not 100% positive what your point is. However, it sounds like you're saying that they should take this further by preventing Windows users from accessing their web-based services. This doesn't really make sense. A user cannot threaten a SERVICE by using Windows... but a service could threaten a user who uses Windows. The threat is only in one direction.

        They are already re-coding their installed applications (Google Earth, Picasa, etc...) into NativeClient. Also, there is already a browser-based plugin that renders Google Earth within the browser, no matter which OS you are on.

        They will continue to make Chrome available for Windows but, again, this misses the point. They aren't telling the world to get off Windows (yet)... they're just telling their employees to get off Windows.

        Ultimately, though, they are putting their weight behind Chrome OS. So, it makes sense to start using it internally. Then, convince the world to use it. For those who refuse to move away from Windows or Mac OSX, these users can just install and use Chrome to get a similar (but not the same) experience.

        As for developing for Android... this can be done using Eclipse. Eclipse is open source. So, it's likely they might be working on re-coding Eclipse in Native Client, which will run on Chrome OS... and for those who don't move away from Windows or Mac OSX, it will run in Chrome.
        BIGELLOW
      • Ramma.Net: Google has no reason to stop supporting Windows with their

        products, and they have NOT announced that, and for sure will NOT stop supporting Windows. They may stop supporting IE6, or other older browsers in the future, but, as long as Windows market share is above say 5%, it would be foolish on Google's part to not support it.

        Now, that said, not using Windows internally for anything other than developing and testing Windows applications is absolutely brilliant. Using a competitors product and not eating their own dog food plays right into Microsoft's hand. Also showing the world how easy it is to get by without MS Office is a GREAT PR move. Finally, if they get a little of FUD value out of, why not?
        DonnieBoy
      • You're missing the big picture...

        @Rama.NET
        They don't have to start limiting services to Windows users. All they have to do is make their services available to users of any OS and cover all the services and apps that stick users to Windows. They don't have to block Windows. They can simply work to make it obsolete and they are off to a great start so far. Thats the power of openess. I'd think you'd realize that the whole point of ChromeOS and their push for HTML 5 is so that they can move desktop apps to the web.
        storm14k
  • Any way you look at it, this is brilliant. NOW, is the perfect time for

    them to figure out how to live without Windows and document it, and show the world that it can be done and the sky will not fall. After any of the trasition hick-ups, your business will run much smoother WITHOUT Windows.
    DonnieBoy
  • Any way you look at it, this is brilliant. NOW is the perfect time for

    them to figure out how to live without Windows and document it, and show the world that it can be done and the sky will not fall. After any of the trasition hick-ups, your business will run much smoother WITHOUT Windows.
    DonnieBoy
    • From what I understand, you're pretty good at flagging yourself, RF

      a negative Apple post, and I'm sure you're the one with the quick mouse click at that point, so quit pointing fingers, and making excuses.
      John Zern
    • DonnieBoy, if reference to the flagging thing

      If you can't understand why you're being flagged (wasn't me, I just got here) then maybe you shouldn't be posting?

      You make the most assine statements at times, mostly off-topic, and unknowledable.

      [i]After any of the trasition hick-ups, your business will run much smoother WITHOUT Windows[/i]

      Sure that's an opinion, and shouldn't be flagged, if thats what you really belive (though it is laughable. easy to say, impossible to do), but when you start posting those idiotic "duck tape and bailing wires" or that Windows admins are "greasy morons", you don't think that should be flagged?

      When you post 35 times (yes I counted one night) with the same BS and FUD, even after people have proven you wrong with links to various articles refuting the stuff you wher posting , you still continued to go on and on. At that point, it shows you wern't here to have a serious discussion, after 35 posts it becomes obvious you where either spamming, or trolling.

      And you don't think that should be flagged?
      John Zern
      • The sky will not fall at Google without Windows. Quite the contrary, things

        will run a lot smother. Google also needs to eat their own dog food.

        And, YES, Windows is held together with "duct tape and bailing wire". It is one big rats nest.
        DonnieBoy
      • It is really funny how much it bothers the Windows propeller heads

        that Google can ditch Windows and get by just fine, without the sky falling.
        DonnieBoy
    • I see that they are now going through and un-flagging the messages flagged

      by the propeller heads.
      DonnieBoy
  • RE: Google axes Windows, saves millions

    I don't like it when I see mis-information and FUD being directed at Google - e.g. with regard to the Wi-Fi sniffer issue recently.

    So what am I to think now? Aren't you and they both guilty of doing the same?

    The idea that Mac is any more secure then Windows has been debunked. Here's a summary of analysts responses to the idea that security has anything to do with this.
    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9177565/Google_s_security_excuse_for_dumping_Windows_is_bogus_say_analysts

    For machines running IE6, I believe you are aware that you can just upgrade the browser?

    As far as sticking it to MS, remember that every lost license is only X dollars to MS. Every time you buy a mac it is X * 10 dollars to Apple. Over the coming years Apple will be moving users from macs to iProducts and those users will only be allowed to use Google products with Apple's permission.

    So perhaps I have strayed from my initial point, but I think that not only is Google now guilty of spreading FUD, but I think they are too fixated on MS as the enemy. Google thrives on open competition and for now, MS still allows competition on Windows. Apple is doing everything they can to shut down competition, so it seems counter-productive for Google to spread false information that promotes Apple products.
    Trufagus
    • If Google uses Windows internally, they don't eat their own dog food,

      that plays right into Microsoft hand. Google needs to show that a large company CAN run without Windows, and run very well.

      But, hey, if it gives them a little FUD value as well, they will take it, quietly though.
      DonnieBoy
      • We don't know that. From what I read here

        They seem to have a hard time doing it with just Google stuff, and this is straight from the mouths of Google employees.

        But then again, why would a large company that runs fine with Windows want to switch to something even the developers themselves says it really hard to get the job done with?

        Using your own words, these companies aren't in the computer business, which is why many use something easy to manage, and gets the job done.

        Chrome [b]does not[/b] sound like that's the tool for the job.
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
      • Chrome OS and other Linux Distributions will work just fine. The engineers

        already all use Linux. OpenOffice works better than MS Office if you REALLY need a bloated office suite. You can bet that Google uses web based clients to access all corporate applications. Really, Windows is not needed much at all any more.

        Win32 is dying a slow death . . . .
        DonnieBoy
      • Sad thing is, ChromeOS will probally die more quickly

        and Open Office is a third rate office package, many have already said so, even some bloggers have noted that it's of little consequence any more.

        Do companies, or people, really need an OS with limited functionality, one that is out of their hands or control?

        And the vast majority of companies don't run through a browser, including Google, that's a fact you can't make go away.

        Sorry, DB.
        John Zern
      • Not true, Google will get by just fine, the sky will NOT fall, and, they

        will also use other Linux distributions. Engineers and developers will probably not use Chrome OS unless they end up making a special version for them that allows installing arbitrary applications.

        And, YES, Windows and MS Office are hair ball of code. Things will run much smoother at Google after the transition!!
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Google axes Windows, saves millions

        @DonnieBoy
        >>And, YES, Windows and MS Office are hair ball of code. Things will run much smoother at Google after the transition!!
        Really, did you see the code of MS Office and Windows? Could you please share it with us.
        --Ram--
        Ram U
    • RE: Google axes Windows, saves millions

      @Trufagus Since Google has not made an official statement on this matter... and that this was just a rumor from someone who knows the gardener of a former roommate's sister who had a friend who know somebody who used to work for Google... etc... In other words, this is FUD alright... but probably from a Google fanboy and not Google themselves.
      BIGELLOW