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Windows Use Said To Be Restricted at Google

Using Windows requires approval at the CIO level at Google, according to unnamed employees cited in an FT article. New employees have the choice of using the Mac operating system or Linux. The restriction was described as a security measure in response to attacks on Google headquarters by Chinese hackers in December.

The attacks on Google and other companies were traced to a flaw in Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows. In February, Google reacted by pulling support for IE 6 on its Google Docs and Google Sites portals.

A spokesperson for Google today would not confirm that Google has such a restriction on Windows use by its employees, nor did he confirm that security was the issue.

"We're always working to improve the efficiency of our business, but we don't comment on specific operational matters," the Google spokesperson stated on Tuesday via e-mail.

Google is currently working on its own operating system, called Google Chrome OS, which will be capable of connecting to the Internet without relying on another operating system, according to descriptions by company officials. Netbooks running Chrome OS are scheduled to be available "towards the end of the year," a Google spokesperson told Wired.

The security of Chrome OS is one of the aspects touted by Google. Users will not be able to install binaries on the machines as all applications will be accessed through the Internet. The file system will be read only and Google will check on bootup that the system is running what it's supposed to be running, according to descriptions by Google officials.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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