Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hooray for Google

By now everyone's heard of Google's decision to open a Chinese variant of it's own search engine. Some cry foul, saying that Google is aiding and abetting the Party by giving in to pressure. I think Atrios is on to something when he asks - what about Murdoch? In any case, it's far, far too late for us to expect capitalists to restrain themselves when dealing with China. Hell, governments are falling over themselves to deal with China, and there's no profit motive there. I'm not wild about Google doing this, but this is hardly the worst abuse the Chinese people have to put up with on a daily basis.

This, on the other hand, may turn out to be great news - Google is working on a distribution of Ubuntu Linux.
Google is preparing its own distribution of Linux for the desktop, in a possible bid to take on Microsoft in its core business - desktop software.

A version of the increasingly popular Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, based on Debian and the Gnome desktop, it is known internally as 'Goobuntu'.

Google has confirmed it is working on a desktop linux project called Goobuntu, but declined to supply further details, including what the project is for.
If there's any company that can pull off the open-source attack on Microsoft, I think Google is it. It already has fantastic brand loyalty, and can even afford to offer limited service guarantees. More importantly, Google is big enough to force a certain amount of compliance among hardware vendors.

The funny thing is, if Google were to succeed in pushing Ubuntu as an alternative to Windows, the entire PC market would have converged around the same basic hardware and software. Mac OSX is Unix-based (BSD) and so is Ubuntu (linux), and the Macintosh has now moved to Intel chips.

I have no idea what this would mean in terms of wider software, but it occurs to me that this would mean that Mac users could finally get all the coolest games at the same time as their Wintel brethren. Just a thought.


Mike said...

Bah! Nothing a few cleverly crafted hacks or google bombs can't get around.

Google is smart. Lock the front door so the CCP thinks they are doing them a favour, but leave a gapping wide back door open so Chinese people can actually get real information.

The internet see censorship as damage and routes around it, the old saying goes.

Battlepanda said...

I almost took the plunge with Ubuntu back when I still had a PC but chickened out. Too timid. Still, glad to hear this.