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Microsoft picks over Google's Windows exit strategy

Irony? We've heard of it

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Microsoft responded to yesterday’s report that Google was internally ditching the company’s operating system in favour of Linux, Mac OS X Chrome OS by telling anyone that would listen that the Mountain View Chocolate Factory wasn’t exactly immune to occasional security gaffes.

Redmond blogger Brandon LeBlanc felt obliged to, in his words, “set the record straight” about Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

“There is some irony here that is hard to overlook,” he opined, before pointing to an example of an organisation - in this case Yale University - reportedly turning its back on a planned shift to Gmail and Google Apps due to security concerns.

But the very fact that Microsoft felt the need to wheel out its top Windows flack in an effort to bat away some of the bad press the software vendor received suggests that the Redmond high command felt a little wounded by the level of ink the Google story scored yesterday.

LeBlanc grumbled that the assertion of the Financial Times (which wrote the report) that “Windows is known for being vulnerable to attacks by hackers and more susceptible to computer viruses than other operating system” could not be supported by the facts.

“When it comes to security, even hackers admit we’re doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else. And it’s not just the hackers; third party influentials [sic] and industry leaders like Cisco tell us regularly that our focus and investment continues to surpass others,” he argued.

LeBlanc went on to point out all the stuff Microsoft is working on to keep hackers at bay, including security updates, BitLocker for disc encryption, Windows 7 parental controls (presumably to stop the kids breaking into the virtual drinks cabinet) and Internet Explorer 8, which the company has repeatedly stated is tip-top secure.

But doth the lady protest too much? Probably. After all, Google was always going to “go Google” - a fact wryly acknowledged by MS chief flack Frank X Shaw just yesterday.

Look across the techplex: Would HP wonks happily let its workforce run the ink empire on Dell servers? Is Oracle dead keen to run Microsoft's SQL server database in-house? Nope. That type of self-defeating behaviour isn't really a reality any business would want to endorse, except to eye up the competition, of course.

Why would Microsoft - or indeed anyone else - expect anything less from Mountain View, which just so happens to be planning to unleash Chrome OS later this year? ®

Top three mobile application threats

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