Making the case for Google Linux

Google + LinuxThere’s been plenty of talk of late about Google getting more behind Linux, but theories abound as to what role they would play.  Some of this may be answered soon, judging by some back room dealings going on over there in conjunction with The Linux Foundation, the group that “offers programs to promote standardization and technical collaboration” for Linux, as well as sponsoring Linus Torvalds so he can continue to work fulltime on the Linux kernel. First we heard from Google’s Chris DiBona about how Linux graphic drivers provided by nVidia and ATI should be open source. (why would they bring this up?) Then, last week, Google sponsored the first-ever Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit.

 At the summit they had a _“…presentation by the Google Linux Client Team. What was it? Well, there are some “significant accomplishments” and other new Google desktop applications coming out this year for the Linux platform. Google’s Xianzhu Wang and Zhe Su delivered the Linux Foundation LogoGoogle Linux Client Team presentation during the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and specifically the Desktop Architect Meeting 4 (DAM-4). All of the DAM-4 presentations are available from the Linux Foundation and here is a link to the PDF slide we are talking about in this article. The goal of the Google Linux Client Team is to develop Linux desktop applications, such as what we have seen from Google Earth and Google Picasa with official Linux versions. Granted of course, Google Picasa for Linux currently uses WINE. Also mentioned on this slide were significant accomplishments / releases this year: TBD. The actual slide presented at the Desktop Architect Meeting 4 was slightly different but portrayed the same thing – Google will be introducing new Linux desktop software and possibly in a matter of weeks. The slides go on and mention that some of Google’s Linux projects will be open-source_.“  Even though the Google Earth and Google Picassa run on top of Wine (an emulation type layer for Linux) that doesn’t diminish the fact that 1) they run great in Linux, or 2) they’re great pieces of software that is encouraging to see released for Linux.  So rumors will keep running around, but calls for the oft rumored Google Desktop for Linux (meh?), or an official Google Talk client for Linux (yea!), seem to make more sense now, but what else?  You never know, perhaps it’s a Google Linux as has been talked about for years, and most recently last week in an article entitled What the world needs now is Google Linux; though I have trouble seeing that. Whatever it is, it seems they’re gearing up for something, and it sounds as if it’ll be long term. If they are truly going to pair themselves up next to Microsoft, this would be an amazing way to do it; we live in interesting times.