Windows devices aren’t allowed at Google’s HQ due to security reasons


Just saw this on twitter and thought this is worthy of discussion. User @campuscodi said this yesterday “Windows devices aren’t allowed at Google’s HQ due to security reasons. Only Linux/macOS. You need special permission (and reasons) to run Windows at Google. Windows-related dev work usually gets done via a VM.”

This seems ridiculous. There’s no way this is true? Right??

Comments (21)

21 responses to “Windows devices aren’t allowed at Google’s HQ due to security reasons”

  1. yaddamaster

    true at the campus near my home. But come on - this is a political reason and nothing to do with actual security. Every google neighbor I've spoken with affirms it's political. Apple isn't a threat to Google so they don't care.

  2. wright_is

    Probably true. I worked for a security company and they ran nearly all Linux, with isolated Windows VMs for testing.

    The problem with Windows, especially Windows 10 is that you cannot turn off a lot fo the telemetry (I think Windows is somewhere in the mid 5 figure events, Office 365, according to Microsoft, collects and sends home between 23,000 and 25,000 events).

    This means that a lot of information you have no control over and no detailed documentation from Microsoft (and who is actually going to read through all 25,000 Office collection events to determine if they are safe anyway?) on what is collected is transmitted out of your network on a regular basis, with no way to turn it off.

    Microsoft have currently agreed to make Microsoft Office GDPR compliant by the end of March - which would mean deactivating all Office telemetry by default and only sending back what the user has actually opted into.

    According to the Germany DPOs, Windows 10 must do the same thing, if it is to be GDPR compliant.

  3. dcdevito

    It doesn't surprise me in the least. I'm a member of my local Google Developers group and whenever I attend a code-a-thon of some sort every Windows device and user are called out and teased. When they walk people through tutorials and installations they never mention Windows. It's 97% Mac and 3% Linux. Ironically I've never seen a Chromebook at an event either ;-)

  4. Daekar

    This is more for image management than anything else. SIlly, really.

  5. glassman1234

    There's a certain irony in the fact that the original phone home company prevents another from phoning home.

  6. FalseAgent

    so what is used at Google HQ? Ubuntu? ChromeOS? or is everyone there just using a mac? Good lord. God bless them....

  7. Tony Barrett

    Windows has always been inherently more vulnerable than Linux. That's not up for discussion. Almost every new exploit discovered in Win7 also affects Win10 too, so Win10 isn't that much better by the looks of it. I therefore agree that Google have a point.

  8. simont

    And yet on the last Windows Weekly podcast of 2018, Chris Capisela (spellind may be wrong) said multiple developers are using Surface Book 2.

    • wright_is

      In reply to simont:

      There is a team developing for Windows there, without Windows PCs, they can't create and test the Windows version of Chrome, for example.

      At a guess, I would assume the Chrome for Windows people get special dispensation, the rest have to use ChromeOS, Linux or macOS - and I would expect the company to bias that towards ChromeOS, because they are trying hard to promote their own OS outside the company; it isn't a very good image if they say "use ChromeOS, but hey, we use macOS inhouse."

  9. skane2600

    Google: Windows is insecure and that's why we develop products for it! /s