Sergey Brin: "There's nothing wrong with Windows, but... "

Sergey Brin: "There's nothing wrong with Windows, but... "

Summary: Google co-founder Sergey Brin says that Microsoft's model is what's flawed and that the Chromebook strives to tackle make that experience better.


The announcement of Google's Chromebooks is sure to be raising some eyebrows around the Microsoft campus today, but Google co-founder Sergey Brin wasn't looking to slam the work that the folks in Redmond are doing.

During a press conference after the opening keynote at the Google I/O developer's conference this morning, Brin answered questions about the competition with Microsoft. "I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with Windows," he said. "Windows 7 has some great security features."

This isn't about the hardware and software, though. It's the model, he said. The Windows model is complex and, when things get more complex, security has the potential to be compromised. Brin said:

The complexity of managing computers is torturing. It's a flawed model fundamentally. Chromebooks are a new model. It doesn't put the burden of managing your computer yourself. Companies that don't use (the Google) model won't be successful.

He also defended the Google model when asked about the putting trust in Google with this model. He said:

This model doesn't say just trust Google. You are trusting Chrome and Chrome OS to protect you against malicious things. Beyond that, you're using cloud based services. You can go to any web site out there. This (Google) team's job is to make sure those sites can't do malicious things to you. It has great functionality. You can go to Bing Web search if you want, Yahoo, any of our competitors. They don't work any differently.

Finally, the team was questioned about the price of the new Chromebooks and why they were "so expensive." He countered that a notebook that starts at $349 is still a good value. In a quick poll he conducted with the attendees, only one person in the room had a notebook in front of him that cost less than $500. A few more hands went up when asked who spent less than $1,000. But when he asked who spent more than $1,000, many more hands went up.

Apparently, many of us are Mac users.

Topics: Software, CXO, Google, Hardware, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Windows

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  • Smart to not bad mouth Microsoft any more than necessary, but, in reality,

    Windows 7 has way to many attack vectors to be used in the enterprise.
    • RE: Sergey Brin:


      with 350 million licenses sold the enterprises dont seem to agree with you.
      • RE: Sergey Brin:


        How many of those are actually in use?

        How many bought it because they felt they had no choice?

        How many bought it because of being locked into Microsoft?
      • I take it that you will be one of the first in line


        to convert your entire company over to these and get rid of those nasty Windows machines your employer is forcing on everyone.
        John Zern
      • RE: Sergey Brin:


        you know what they tried selling Linux notebooks and then what happens guess what people returned them! and got comparable windows laptops instead.
      • RE: Sergey Brin:

        @Knix96 The huge differentiator between Chromebooks... or an experiment with switching people over to Linux, and having them return everything... simply has to do with the comfort zone of people. People don't like change, especially when it involves something they are insecure about. Computer gurus are comfortable trying out any new operating system on the block... more typical computer users panic if a single shortcut icon goes missing from their desktop.

        The differentiator is this: the web. When you switch someone to a Linux machine, chances are, you try to find them equivalent (but not the same) software to "simulate" their Windows experience. Since this simulation is never precise enough, the typical user panics. While Open Office is close enough to Office, it just doesn't have precisely the same buttons in the same locations, so the user panics.

        However, these days, more and more people are spending more and more time on the web. Many people are now comfortable with fully web-based email clients while before, it was all about Outlook or Outlook Express. Many people are also making the switch to simple documents and spreadsheets hosted online rather than relying on Office for this. As more and more people (each at their own pace) are getting familiar with "working in the cloud" on the machines they are still comfortable with... whether it be Mac or PC... they are spending less and less time in the operating system.

        For these individuals, boot up a Chromebook in front of them and as they start going to their web applications and continuing to do what they normally would do inside of a web browser, they may never even recognize the fact that they're not using a Windows machine. Fewer and fewer people are heading to the "Start menu" these days... now it's all about navigating your bookmarks.

        Sure, there are those who have specific software they use and need that they won't find (yet) a cloud equivalent of. Chromebooks aren't for these people. Chromebooks are for those who can (or have already been) working primarily through web-based services.

        The transition plan also allows users to use an equivalent of "Remote Desktop Connection" to use a Chromebook to connect to a remote Windows server to run Windows specific software that they cannot yet do without. Every day or every week, this list of speciality software will become more and more marginalized (like refrigerator-sized mainframes are becoming today) and you'll see more and more people switch to Chromebooks (or Chromebook-like devices) without ever blinking.
      • RE: Sergey Brin:

        @Knix96 It already has thousands of users
        <a href="">Termopane Pret</a>
    • When backed into a corner, Google says a lot of things

      mostly either an excuse, or outright joke of a statement.
      John Zern
    • RE: Sergey Brin:

      @DonnieBoy Considering that MacOS is filled with security holes just waiting to be popped open. I wouldnt want any Mac systems in any enterprise that I was running. Security via obscurity doesn't work when your running a company that is worth making exploit software for.
    • Errrrrrr

      @DonnieBoy : Here we go again with your useless comments and nothing to back it up. First. It's "too" and not "to". Second, I wonder if you know what "attack vectors" are - otherwise you would of mentioned some. Third. It is not as much as a problem with Windows 7 in the enterprise but with the perimeter network security that could be the problem [and many of those defences are using Linux]. It is the firewalls for the network which will block hackings. It is the mail filters which will remove spam and iffy attachments.
      Oh. you always badmouth Microsoft - without looking at the greater picture.
      Gis Bun
  • RE: Sergey Brin:

    Which is why over 350 million licenses have been sold.

    Go away loser, your schtick is getting old.

    No one with a shred of IT cred (or commong sense) wants a browser that you can't manage as an OS, period!
    • They maybe ahead in in mobile..

      @omdguy but they will certainly fail with this on the desktop.. The minute a few clueless users boot up one of these and realize its not Windows its gonna be 'return to sender'
      Mr. Dee
      • Actually, they just want to know where the internet is.

        Not as difficult as you make it out.
      • Well DB, you've shown us you don't understand business

        @Mr. Dee
        What, do you actually believe 90% of all Enterprise users use just the internet and email?

        Stop by an enterprise (or small business) and maybe you'll learn something about the businesses you so easilly dismiss.
        John Zern
      • RE: Sergey Brin:

        @Mr. Dee One of the points that was made at the conference today was that, increasingly, businesses are turning toward cloud services, such as Salesforce. Sure, there are some businesses that will stay Old School forever - but there's no denying that, for some business users, it's all about finding the Internet. I second what @DonnieBoy said...
      • RE: Sergey Brin:


        I am not sure what world you live in but there is more to life in the working world than the internet and email. I would love to see schools do all their financial, student, and human resource management in the cloud with huge databases of information. I would love to see business do the same with their critical business operations. I'm sorry but Google does NOT have an app for that.
      • But Sam, you view it from your needs

        @Mr. Dee <br>here, but are you really looking at the bigger picture? We all use cloud services of one type or another, but that's one aspect of many as to what businesses need or use.<br><br>Not many companies, Google included, can live 100% in the cloud, yet that's what they're asking all of us to do.<br><br>Oh, and before you point out that "they're all using ChromeOS at Google" remember that while they ask us to connect to their <font color="red">cloud</font>, they connect to their <font color="red">network</font>.
        John Zern
      • RE: Sergey Brin:

        @Mr. Dee <br><br>You said it, clueless users and windows.
        Alan Smithie
      • RE: Sergey Brin:

        @DonnieBoy<br>I am so happy you have your pulse on the world of tech. The billions of people who own PCs are certainly just looking for the web browser. Righhht.

        Some business are turning towards cloud no doubt but most are looking at a hybrid approach versus a pure cloud play.
      • RE: Sergey Brin:

        @Mr. Dee I remember when people scoffed at the idea of electric cars (but there's nowhere to plug in... what if you're driving across the desert and you lose power?)... the idea of using smaller computers instead of refrigerator-sized mainframes (but I need POWER)... the idea of CFLs or LED-based lightbulbs (I need something more than candlelight!)... etc, etc... This transition which is taking place is no different.

        People will keep saying they can't (or won't) work fully in the cloud and many will likely continue to preach this resistance to their grave, but with each new advancement of technology and with each successive generation of people, this *is* where the future is, whether you agree with it or not.