What kind of computer do you use? Are your files all stored on a hard drive in that computer, on a network drive, or off in the cloud somewhere? What software do you like?

Do any of these questions matter?

More and more, the answer is no. There was a time when the choices you made in computers and software defined you, because there was no easy way to exchange information with people who had made other choices. It’s the reason Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office became dominant; everyone needed to use the same hardware and software so they could exchange files with each other by passing around floppy disks.

Floppy disks are gone. CDs and DVDs work the same in all computers, and for the most part we don’t uses those anymore either; we just email files around or make them available online.

So you don’t have to worry about your choices; pretty much every computer can read and write .DOC and .XLS files, and we all use .JPG for graphics. Tower of Babble, be gone!

So why has Google mandated that its employees not use Microsoft Windows?

Ostensibly, it’s about security. It’s a fact that there are more viruses written to attack Windows-based computers than all other kinds combined . . . and by a wide margin. From an IT expenses perspective, Google is making a smart internal choice by getting away from Windows-based computers. But here’s the truth:

Google Just Wants Microsoft To Go Away

Google wants to control everything, and government anti-trust regulations notwithstanding, why shouldn’t they? When you can get to it online, Google Docs is a perfectly acceptable replacement for Microsoft Office. Google has their Android and Chrome operating systems to compete with variants of Windows, too, and mandating “no Windows” at home is just one more shot in the “destroy Microsoft” battle that Google is waging.

Apple is proving more difficult. Apple’s iOS (formerly iPhone OS 4.0) is huge and getting bigger, and Apple, as I predicted a couple of months ago when details of iPhone OS 4.0 started to surface, is doing their best to make advertising an Apple-only affair.

What’s the difference? Why is Google curtailing their use of Windows but still allowing Macintosh? BECAUSE MICROSOFT HAS BECOME IRRELEVANT.

Under the old “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” axiom, Google is keeping tabs on Apple because they have to. Microsoft just doesn’t matter anymore. Talk about business change!

Things DO change—even things that look like they’ll stay the same forever. Making the right choices in steering your business change isn’t always easy. If you’re confused, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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