Apparently, Google is not going to use Microsoft Windows anymore, unless it is really really really necessary. Seriously, if someone at Google needs to run Windows, they are going to need the permission of the CIO. Wow! From now on Google will be a Linux and Apple shop. (hopefully there will be a few BSD users in there as well)
But aside from the security aspect, what does this really mean?
(go read the article if you want to know about the decision, I have different concerns and don't feel like paraphrasing in the hopes of creating my own unique content)
There surely are plenty of times that city governments, school districts, and probably small countries have moved away from Microsoft products, but to me, this is a bit different. As ephemeral as Google may be by having mostly digital products, I find Google to be a very tangible company with products I use on a daily basis, and as far as the internet is concerned, Google is a major player.
In a sense, this may be an advertisement that Google is ready to eat their own dogfood. Aside from Android, Google's OS for smart phones, Google has also been working on Chrome OS, which is supposed to be a hardened OS based on Linux. Perhaps it is time for me to take another look at what Chrome OS has to offer (it is supposed to ship in the second half of 2010, which is a month away). This of course is just speculation on my behalf. I'm actually more interested in other things.
Obviously Apple machines will be "Google Approved", but what about machines to run Linux? Sure the overpriced shiny plastic from Cupertino can have Linux installed on it, but what other manufacturers are going to make laptops that are blessed by Google? Don't almost all manufacturers run a "We Recommend Microsoft Windows" campaign? Although they can surely pay for it, will Google really purchase a Laptop with Microsoft Windows and not want a refund for the MS tax? As I see it, if a manufacturer wants their products to be used by Google, then the manufacturers are going to need to test Linux on their systems. Hopefully this will lead to more Linux compatible devices on the market. I can't possible be the only consumer that thinks "Hey if it's not good enough for Google, then it isn't good enough for me".
Oh, speaking of Microsoft.... Why haven't they bought Novell yet?
With the purchase of Novell, Microsoft will have a more direct control of the Mono and Silverlight projects, as well as control of a major Linux distribution. Microsoft is going to need some operating system to run on low power ARM based systems, and nothing Microsoft makes fits that bill in an esthetically pleasing way.
Regardless of what influence this will have on other people, I think made a long overdue decision.
Now quit reading, and do what Google did. Actually you should probably avoid the Apple as well.