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Report: Google moving away from Windows

Citing security concerns, Google is reportedly telling employees they are no longer allowed to use Windows machines.

Google has seen enough of Microsoft's Windows operating system, suspending internal use of the OS amid security concerns related to the attack on its network late last year, according to a report.

Google's Eric Schmidt
Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes that Chrome OS is more secure than Windows, reportedly ordering employees to move away from Windows machines. Tom Krazit/CNET

The Financial Times reported late Monday that Google has begun telling new employees that they are no longer able to request Windows PCs, giving them the choice of Mac or Linux systems. Google has long offered its employees their choice of work operating system but will no longer do so, The Financial Times said, after an attack on Windows and Internet Explorer 6 resulted in the theft of Google intellectual property, believed to be source code, late last year.

Rumors to this effect surfaced earlier in the year, but CNET was unable to confirm them at the time. Microsoft has never been a friendly face inside the Googleplex, but Google's engineering-driven culture and need to test its software on a variety of systems usually meant that at least some portion of its employees preferred the Windows environment. Some Google employees will still be able to use Windows machines, but they will have to get special permission, according to the report.

Later this year Google will begin directing employees toward Chrome OS systems, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told CIOs attending a Google seminar on cloud computing in April. Google believes the browser-based operating system will be "inherently more secure" than alternative operating systems, Schmidt said at that event.

Google declined to comment "on specific operational matters."