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Google Working on Desktop Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-you-guys-are-surprised dept.

Google 785

paulmac84 writes "The Register reports that Google is working on a version of Ubuntu, known internally as Goobuntu. Google has confirmed it is working on a desktop linux project, but declined to supply further details, including what the project is for. Is Google about to release this as an alternative to Windows?" Update: 02/01 00:11 GMT by SM: chrisd is the first among many to point out that this is just more fodder from the Google rumor mill and isn't something they are currently planning to release.

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hmmm (5, Interesting)

Fusen (841730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607274)

This has been talked about for quite a long time and even supposedly seen [google.com] but what can Google do that would make this more special then any other ubuntu release/spin off?
Also a more worrying question,would you see ads incorporated?

What can Google do (2, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607307)

Plough in massive amounts of cash and resources. I know Ubuntu is backed by Mark Shuttleworth but the more funding/resources the better.

Re:What can Google do (5, Insightful)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607391)

More to the point, what does Google plan to do that Ubuntu isn't already doing? The Ubuntu project has already made good progress in terms of usability and so forth; why would Google want to mess with a good thing? And once they rebrand Ubuntu, why would Ubuntu continue to offer their internal updates?

It seems more likely Google would partner with Ubuntu than snapshot their product and start wandering off in their own direction. Ubuntu could definitely use the human and network resources Google has to offer, but I don't see them just handing over all their work and letting Google take over, nor does it make sense for the two to start competing with one another.

Re:What can Google do (5, Insightful)

sperm (916223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607493)

With a Google name on it, Corporate acceptance will be easier to sell, than simply "Ubuntu"!!!

Re:What can Google do (1)

NetRAVEN5000 (905777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607521)

Maybe Google will partner with Ubuntu. Although I doubt it - probably they'll work together on some stuff or use each other's source (as many other distros sometimes do) but more than likely they're going to be working towards different things. Plus, Google probably wouldn't want to discriminate against other distros (I prefer Slackware myself, but I have no problem if Google wants to support Ubuntu - others might though.)

As far as Google's plans for Linux. . . I don't think I'm far off when I say "make Steve Ballmer eat his words for saying he'll 'fucking bury Google'". ;^)

Re:What can Google do (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607544)

Well there's this thing called Open source see....

But more to the point, Google have plenty of resources to plough into development and whatnot. They also have one hell of a name for themselves.

I doubt they'd fork Ubuntu though, most likely they'd work with Ubuntu and provide a branded version.

Re:hmmm (5, Insightful)

Anml4ixoye (264762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607355)

"This has been talked about for quite a long time and even supposedly seen but what can Google do that would make this more special then any other ubuntu release/spin off? "

Actually, the question is, WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE A WINDOW'S KILLER FROM GOOGLE?!

How many times do we have to hear, "Google is seeding clouds! Is this the end of Microsoft due to a massive hurricane Google is developing in the Pacific?"

Guys, Google is a smart company. How would creating a Linux distribution even come *close* to being a Windows killer? And, more importantly, how would that make them any money? They're a public company, so if it isn't making them money, then why would they do it.

Re:hmmm (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607420)

WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE A WINDOW'S KILLER FROM GOOGLE?!

Probably because the world so desperately needs something to kill windows.

Mac OS X is a great alternative, but Apple's giving no indication of any intention to ship it on the generic x86 machines.

-jcr

Re:hmmm... Well, umm, by... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607534)

LOOSENING ms hegemonic, emperial grip on the software market, thereby creating and opportunity of release and fresh air for Google AND others to create service-based product or income streams.

Would be quite a relief for MANY innumerable entities I am sure.

Re:hmmm (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607540)

it would be a strategic move if they could, to break MS's back.
Microsoft is trying to move in on Google's market and is likely to continue to exploit their OS monopoly in orer to do so. IE defaults to using MSN search. therefore anything google can do to sabotage the dominance of IE or windows will help protect them in the future.

Re:hmmm (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607411)

Oh, I dunno, but some must have also wondered what they could have done to make a search engine so special. After all, they certainly weren't the first folks to tread in that area.

I can think of a few things right off that Google can add to the mix:

  • Standardization. What is the current standard distribution of Linux? Wow, take your pick, because there is none. If a company that specializes in the consumer market such as Google adds their name to a specific distribution and configured it for mass use, it would, I predict, stand a really good chance of becoming the Linux of Choice(TM) for most average desktop users.
  • Improvements. Unlike most volunteer efforts and companies that have tried to date, Google has the financial power to throw as much money into their Linux distribution as Microsoft has to throw into Windows. All of those little things that drive average users absolutely batty in Linux could, in the very near future, disappear.
  • Integration. Google has arguably made the computer usage experience massively better through such tools as the Google toolbar, the Google Desktop, Google Maps, Google Video, the search engine itself (duh), and other such stuff. Now imagine if a whole operating system is geared towards bringing all of these tools together into an integrated, easy-to-use package. Wow.

There's lots of other opportunities there as well. Google has a history of taking stuff that kinda sorta is already out there in some form and pumping it up on steriods to the point that it's really cool. I'm willing to think that they can do the same with their own OS as well. At the very least, I'm willing to give them the benefit of a doubt that it won't be just the same ol' Linux.

The worst case scenario is that they put out something that absolutely sucks ass, and we all stick with our existing favorite distribution. No matter how you look at it, this is win for us.

Re:hmmm (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607502)

Well, under the improvements catagory, I want Google, or someone, to pay off whoever needs to be paid off to allow font rendering hints to be legal un the U. S. I use Linux on all but one of my computers at home, and my biggest gripe is that web pages and documents don't display as prettily as under Windows. Yes, this is fairly minor, but it bugs me. I want the function and flexibility that I get from Linux, and I want pretty too.

A possible answer (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607415)

...what can Google do that would make this more special then any other ubuntu release/spin off?

Add their name to it.

That might not seem like a big deal, but I think it might be. Google is huge compared to most companies that put out a Linux distro. If they did this, they could very well become the standard.

And IMHO, that would be a huge blessing. The #1 complaint you see from developers outside the Linux world seems to be "there isn't a Linux standard". And I can kind of see their point - Windows doesn't suffer from the whole RPM vs. DEB vs. whatever problem. Some systems use devfs, and some don't. Each distro has different /etc structure for storing network settings. And so on.

But! If Google were to become the standard, we wouldn't have that as a problem anymore. Think of the possibilities! We might have more manufacturer supplied graphics drivers and more commercial software on the shelves for Linux.

And Google is big enough to make this happen. Go Google!

Re:A possible answer (1)

robnauta (716284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607456)

Google has a great search engine, a decent advertisment business, and some sideprojects like gmain, google photo, google earth etc to burn some extra cash. Apart from that, the main asset that Google has is money, loads of money. And isn't the point of 99% of the people that are opposed to Microsoft that MS has too much money and a virtual monopoly ?
If Google Linux becomes a standard, don't we then get what we least want, an OS controlled by a large company with billions of dollars that can muscle any opponent off the market ?

Re:hmmm (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607452)

what can Google do that would make this more special then any other ubuntu release/spin off?

Maintain it? Finish it up? Come up with a decent GUI for it? Establish a list of officially supported hardware, so that getting sound working isn't a crap shoot?

There are all kinds of things a company with very deep pockets can do for an OS.

-jcr

Re:hmmm (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607485)

Image that, "relevant ads" delivery directly to your desktop.

awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607284)

this will rule.

Re:awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607434)

Why?

There google goes again... (0, Flamebait)

Colonel62359 (803895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607287)

It's all a conspiracy to take over the world.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607290)

fp?

Not to sound cynical (5, Interesting)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607292)

because Google has a great track record, but I don't think Google is the right company to get all excited about when we find they're working on Linux. IBM, yes, as they have extensive knowledge and experience working with both hardware and OSes.

Google is good at... gathering and indexing information. I don't see a Google Ubuntu being much more than Ubuntu with bundled linux versions of their various apps.

Re:Not to sound cynical (1)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607319)

Google is good at... gathering and indexing information.
... on some fairly specialised hardware, running a modified OS (IIRC)

Re:Not to sound cynical (2, Insightful)

Ghostx13 (255828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607401)

Yep, but you have to have expert knowledge of hardware and the OS that runs on that hardware. Google (as reported by netcraft) is the most visited site on the internet. Have you ever seen it down? Have you ever seen it "slashdotted"? No. This points to excellent hardware/software engineering.

Many large companies "roll their own" linux and write their own tools. Google is just taking that one step further.

Re:Not to sound cynical (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607455)

I'd say undertaking the feat of making a desktop version of Linux that's every bit as easy to use as Windows XP (as the article states) would be more than one step farther than rolling your own distro intended for server use.

By your logic, sir, Google might as well just take the concept of the automobile one step farther and create flying cars.

That wipe your ass for you.

Re:Not to sound cynical (1)

gnuLNX (410742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607522)

"By your logic, sir, Google might as well just take the concept of the automobile one step farther and create flying cars."

Agreed. Now when can I expect my promised flying car!!!

Re:Not to sound cynical (1)

concept10 (877921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607490)

Why does everyone seem to think that the only area that Google is great at is search, indexing and other related areas? The fact that Google has money to hire F/OSS programmers and other experts to push this products should mean something.

Re:Not to sound cynical (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607499)

Google is good at... gathering and indexing information. I don't see a Google Ubuntu being much more than Ubuntu with bundled linux versions of their various apps.
Google is good at usability, too* -- remember how their uncluttered search page was "revolutionary" when it first came out?

Besides, even if it is just Ubuntu + Google apps, wouldn't it still be a good thing?

*Google Earth notwithstanding...

Re:Not to sound cynical (4, Informative)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607510)

aren't google's servers all running linux? aren't they all heavily modified customized? does google ever go down? sounds like they've got some good software and hardware engineers working for them... i think they know what they're doing.

Re:Not to sound cynical (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607511)

For example... Rob Pike the world authority on searching and indexing, or Guido Van Rossum, who probably wrote some search engines in Python.
Google has been assembling people with diverse skill sets and portfolios. Look at all the papers written by people in Google, and you will see that their interests are far beyond search. My only surprise is that they havent hired the "Managing Gigabytes" people as yet.
Also, one of the main reasons Google is successful right now is the skill set diversity -- I would assert that AdSense algorithms, as well as Google File System, and MapReduce etc have something to do with their technical success.

And in Redmond (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607294)

Ballmer throws a chair.

Re:And in Redmond (4, Funny)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607380)

You joking? This is sofa throwing material, dude.

Google OS (5, Insightful)

AnalystX (633807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607296)

I think it's a waste of Google talent. They should concentrate on data collection, aggregation, and dissemination tools.

Re:Google OS (-1, Troll)

Chaotic Spyder (896445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607320)

Google is built on "waisting tallent" 20% of free time on side projects and such... If Google knew what was best for google they would tell their employees what to do.. instead they allow them to explore diffrent stuff and waist their time on new stuff...

Re:Google OS (1)

AnalystX (633807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607406)

Yes. That would be 20% of their time, not 100% of their wouldn't it? What I'm saying is if Google adds one more OS to the fray, what are the chances of it getting 1% or even 3% of the OS market? I'm not going to switch my OS for anything Google puts out because I don't see an OS as "their thing." They have no tradition, no roots, and most of all, no claim to anything unique in the OS world. However, I would me very inclined to use any database tools they come out with such as replacement for Microsoft SQL Server. I know they have a unique perspective on data storage so I would more than trust them in that area.

Re:Google OS (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607533)

You could say microsoft have no roots, tradition or claim to anything in many markets they have entered...
Your example of SQL server is a prime one, a few years ago MS didn't even offer a database for sale. This was the domain of Oracle and IBM. Not to mention MSN, which is trying to barge in on an area which really is google's "thing".

Microsoft's "thing" is BASIC interpreters.

Re:Google OS (1)

nappingcracker (700750) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607398)

Waste of talent or not, this is a very good thing.

Having such a hot and well known company pick up Linux is very good. Especially when it pickus up a LiveCD distro that anyone can pop in and play with linux. This will introduce MANY people to linux, for no other reason than having the Google stamp on it.

Excellent!

Another Google lets-see-if-it-sticks project (5, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607298)

Google has many fingers in many pies right now, presumably trying the
chuck-it-and-see-if-it-sticks approach. No doubt this is another of
those types of projects. If it works they'll hail it as a true MS rival,
if it doesn't it'll quietly get put down in a back room a year from now
and forgotten about.

Re:Another Google lets-see-if-it-sticks project (5, Funny)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607423)

If it works they'll hail it as a true MS rival, if it doesn't it'll quietly get put down in a back room a year from now and forgotten about.

If it doesn't work, there's always Beta! :-D

Re:Another Google lets-see-if-it-sticks project (4, Funny)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607450)

presumably trying the chuck-it-and-see-if-it-sticks approach.

Microsoft uses a similar approach, but thier apporach involves chairs and Steve Ballmer.

Hold your horses everyone!! (1, Funny)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607304)

First, the Google PC at Walmart and now this. I heard that Google is going to buy Windows and release it free to everyone including Office!

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Check out my optimisim. (2, Insightful)

deathbyzen (897333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607308)

Yay, Ubuntu with FireFox and the Google ToolBar?

Fucking Revolutionary!

Google will be setting the standard (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607312)

This, if any, will be THE Desktop Linux.

hope for other apps (3, Insightful)

pyros (61399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607316)

Perhaps this also means they will port apps like gtalk and picasa to linux, albeit just to goobuntu. Although I'd probably still use kopete or gaim, since gtalk doesn't do any session encryption with the native client (plese join me in submitting feature requests and bug reports for every release of gtalk so that they'll consider adding it)

Re:hope for other apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607359)

wjhy wold they ? they are busy selling the frequency analysis of your IMs to advertoisers and rsearchers

The only way... (0, Flamebait)

michrech (468134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607322)

It's been said before but I feel needs to be repeated.

There is no way this is going to be an "alternative to Windows" unless it can run *every* currently available (and even "out of print") piece of software, nor will this work unless it can work with every piece of hardware that Windows supports (as it were).

Re:The only way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607449)

In otherwords, do everything Windows does (well 99%) with out being Windows.

Re:The only way... (2, Insightful)

ceeam (39911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607462)

Windows XP 64-bit does not run 16-bit apps. No big deal, eh? But many, many, many titles have been shipped (and still shipping!) using older InstallShield. Guess what? These _installers_ are 16-bit apps. And installer not working equals to "this app does not run" for practically all users. Do you think XP 64-bit is an "alternative to Windows"?

Re:The only way... (1)

HalB (127906) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607474)

MacOS is an alternative to windows and it doesn't meet any of your criteria. There's a big difference between an "alternative" and a "replacement".
    The PC world isn't what it used to be. Tons of people don't upgrade the hardware in their computers, they don't want to mess with the hassle of it. They just want something cheap that works for email, web surfing, chat, solitaire and yahoo games, not every program under the sun. Add Walmart and Google AdWords and you have a business model.

Re:The only way... (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607508)

Well currently linux (ubuntu in particular) supports more of my desktop hardware than Windows xp x64. Actually it supports all my hardware that xp sp2 supports but the drivers seem more stable (any issues I've had with windows being stable lately has been 3rd party drivers).

The area that is still lagging behind is wireless drivers, but that is fixed by buying something that is supported (takes some research but not a lot of $$$). The broadcom wireless in my cheapo laptop works under ndis wrapper, but not as well as I'd like.

invite to goobuntu (5, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607325)

plz reply with invites.

kthx

Hm... (2, Insightful)

patrickclay (898576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607328)

"Is Google about to release this as an alternative to Windows?"

Could it be released as anything else?

Re:Hm... (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607428)

Yeah, feasibly it could be released as an alternative to MacOS.

Or indeed an alternative to the many preexisting Linux distros.

sort of (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607448)

IF, and a big if, google released a linux distro, I wouldn't see it as an alternative to windows directly as much as an alternative to all the other already released linux distros. Indirectly it would be, at least in the initital stages. Later on it would be of course. There's a dozen or so top distros, then hundreds of smaller ones. And we also have macosx and solaris, both backed by big companies. None of them, or even collectively, have made it beyond 5% or so desktop market penetration compared to windows, even though they exist. The main problem is, none of the big hardware vendors wants to take much of a chance on any particular linux distro because they don't want to support a subset, with no guaranteees the project might be abandoned, etc. With google on the other hand, you could see the big vendors "taking a chance" on at least a parity linux offering.

Shouldn't that be... (5, Funny)

zenmojodaddy (754377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607329)

GNoo/Linux?

If it were BSD-based... (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607512)

If it were BSD based, would it be GooS/X?

welcome (2, Funny)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607331)

i, for one, welcome our new Goobuntu overlords

Name of Distro (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607333)

Gnoogle.

Re:Name of Distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607498)

That's got my vote!

Re:Name of Distro (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607545)

Surely that is Gnuogle

virtualization? (5, Interesting)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607335)

What if Google is planning on combining this with a virtualization product so that it can be installed under Windows? Your average user is not going to be able to replace Windows. However, Google could release this as a "security zone" which people would install on top of Windows. That, combined with perhaps an improved UI and a suite of desktop software may get a more typical user to install it.

Re:virtualization? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607373)

That sounds a lot more realistic. Many of Google's own applications [google.com] don't even work on Linux.

If I were google... (5, Insightful)

Parity (12797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607337)

My desktop linux would be a very specifically limited Linux for securely browsing the web from an unprivileged account, for use by cybercafes, etc., with a default search engine of google of course. They really don't have any business getting into the OS business as such, but the web-appliance defaulting to their pages might be another thing.

Re:If I were google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607513)

If you were Google, wouldn't you be too rich and busy to post at Slashdot?

No! (5, Insightful)

egarland (120202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607338)

Is Google about to release this as an alternative to Windows?

That's tot likely. What would be more likely would be releasing a dedicated internet hardware device running Linux behind the scenes that provides some combination of Internet based TV, VOIP, Browsing, and Email.

Branding, not technology (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607344)

What'll make this "sell" isn't technology but brand. Name recognition counts for everything in big business. Just their name alone can sell a decent product. We know they'll have to make a decent, relatively simple, interface. But other than that their brand name is enough to make this a huge success.

Good for Linux (4, Insightful)

www.staff.ie (947600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607363)

The majority of the world either don't know what Linux is, or associates it with people like us(!)

If Google can make the installation simple, the desktop pretty, and break the "freak" tag that Linux has (and don't kid yourseldf - Linux is only for us freaks), then I think this is a great thing.

We should support this.

Re:Good for Linux (1)

lonesometrainer (138112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607475)

What's so bad about people like us [evoluted.net] ?????

Re:Good for Linux (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607531)

Are you telling me that "Ubuntu" isn't a house-hold name? Blasphemy!

Great news! (2, Informative)

concept10 (877921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607372)

I saw this reported some where else last week, but I thought it wasn't true.

As a supporter and user of Ubuntu GNU/Linux since the first release, Warty I am pleased. More resources thrown at this distro is great news. Currently Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 works perfectly on my two machines (including P4 laptop) and Ubuntu has a great philosophy and community, along with great progress with making the Linux desktop experience better for everyone.

I wonder what exactly Google could bring to the table to help further along this great gem.

Will the google tools work on Linux now ? (2, Interesting)

flyingace (162593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607378)

What is interesting to me is not that they are making a new version of Linux. It is the possibility of Google pack tools, being ported over to Linux. If this is true, their plithora of tools provided by google might finally start working on Linux (read: Any Linux).
Tools like google-Earth, desktop search(GDS), picasa are sure welcome :)

Use a feather... (0, Redundant)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607385)

...to knock me down.

  Everyone was expecting this.

Author needs a new brain. (0, Redundant)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607392)

From TFA:

"The origin of the word 'Goobuntu' is not clear, though it does not appear in online Zulu dictionaries."

I mean, come on. The author can't make the miniscule mental leap that "Goobuntu" is a combination of Google and Ubuntu?

Re:Author needs a new brain. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607494)

Americans really don't get irony, do they.

Re:Author needs a new brain. (2, Insightful)

bastardsquadmuzz (573762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607516)

*whoosh*

Re:Author needs a new brain. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607543)

You don't read the Register very often, now do you?

Brits are notorious for this. It's called subtle irony.

Goobuntu (1)

sucker_muts (776572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607395)

Goobuntu? I certainly hope that won't be the final name.

Imagine someone's face when they hear I'm going to put some goob on their hard drive... :-D

Just one question... (-1, Troll)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607405)

Will it censor any words out like "37289 blocks fr**" for the Chinese version?

Perhaps it should be called G**buntu....

And in other news ... (1)

richg74 (650636) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607409)

Wall Street analysts have made a sharp upward revision in earnings forecasts for manufacturers of office furniture, citing an unexpected upsurge in demand for chairs in the US Pacific Northwest.

Will look bad and dated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607413)

All other Google apps have looked like crap. The only one that is nice is Picasa and that wasn't made by them.

Probably wouldn't matter if they did... (2, Insightful)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607416)

There are already alternatives to Windows which, in many ways, are better than Windows. (I'm sure many of you are saying DUUU right now, but I'm talking about Mac OS X, not Linux.)

Mac OS X is certainly prettier than Windows (and that's very important from a marketing perspective), and it has most of the basic applications that 95% of the people out there use.

Yet despite all of this, it doesn't succeed. Why? There are lots of answers to this question. Some involve Microsoft's market dominance and the fact it is a defacto standard. Some involve Apple's typically more expensive hardware. (Although this seems to be slowly changing.) Some involve the fact that Windows has a far larger software library available. Some involve people being more comfortable using at home what they use at work, and that is almost invariably a PC with Windows.

Whatever the reason, how does Google's OS overcome these? What about Google as a company makes us all think they could do any better? Sure, they have tons of money... but Microsoft will always have more, and they have a 20 year head start as far as market share goes.

Re:Probably wouldn't matter if they did... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607476)

Yet despite all of this, it doesn't succeed.

Define "succeed".

-jcr

Re:Probably wouldn't matter if they did... (1)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607542)

I would define success as gaining any significant market share. Most people agree that 10% of a market is a milestone. Mac OS X has been out for nearly 5 years now, and it still hovers at under 3%.

One could also define success as being able to support a company financially. Without the iPod, Apple would be in serious financial trouble.

Lastly, one could define success as being the dominant player in terms of market share.

Clearly, OS X doesn't do any of these.

GooGentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607418)

I would have rather seen GooGentoo myself.

hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607427)

*insert derogatory joke using "goo" and "linux" here*

GNU/Googlix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607430)

Googlix is better than Goobuntu :P

Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607435)

Give me a beowulf cluster and I'll give you Google!

Seriously, today google is good but nobody knows when the
feds will pay a -on a mission from god- visit to the google
CEO and ask them to change history. Because history is what
google sais it is. And he who controls the past....

You see what happened to wikipedia. Unfortunately the government
is controled by a bunch of lobbists who want to get richer; and
they can move the legal mechanism against you if you get in their
way.

Did anyone else... (1)

scovetta (632629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607459)

think the article title meant that Google ran *their business* on Ubuntu desktops?

Poll idea (4, Funny)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607464)

The name "Goobuntu" sounds most like:

(1) A sinful dessert.
(2) A Final Fantasy monster.
(3) A Swahili word meaning "booger".
(4) Baby babble.
(5) A natural companion to "sed", "awk" and "grep".

no no no (1)

calgaryjer (945190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607486)

It's gonna be Goonix...no Goobuntu

..and I thought (1)

mmThe1 (213136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607487)

that it were the OS companies that were moving to "web as a platform"...

One question (3, Funny)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607488)

Will it be available in China?

You simply don't get it, do you? (-1, Flamebait)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607491)

"Damn, google are huge bastards, they help china's leaders censor the intarbutt and they approve of the communist repressive regime!" ...ONE FUCKING DAY LATER...

"WHOA, WAY COOL, GOOGLE'S GONNA STRANGLE MICROSOFT THANKS TO THAT PHILANTROPIC JOHNNY CLEGG OR SOMETHING!"

Oh yeah, take an average slashdotter, add some goldfish, multiply by ADD, to the power of DUUUUH, and you get to pass off worthless advertisement as "newsworthy".

Yay, google is back to "not doing evil"! Let's all celebrate in candytown!

Muddle of thoughts about google (1)

Aqws (932918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607496)

I don't see why google wants to create a whole new distro, why can't they just work on software that will make all distros better. Before you start talking about Google having it's fingers in too many pie, I think it should be noted that they are carefull to maintain a certain amount of their time to their main business, a different amount to spin-offs, and the other 20% to whatever a developer feels like. This is one of the ways google stays great. Considering how in Gnome(Ubuntu's Gui) everything starts with G, I wonder if they will call everything Goo-. I wonder if they will make their own Goo-ey.

Btw, I heard that they are also working on a robot that makes hamburgers.

Would be an Interesting Turnaround (2, Interesting)

DiscoNick (743960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607501)

Microsoft tried to beat Google at their own game with their new search systems, it would be funny if Google becomes a threat to Microsoft's age-old game of operating systems and office packages. They've got the financial backing and positive reputation.

Google Earth? (1)

Geeky (90998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607503)

All I want is Google Earth for desktop Linux.

(Oh, and Photoshop, but that's another story...)

Attempting to overtake Windows? (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607505)

No, not by a longshot. We might speculate all day long, but I cannot imagine anything making a dent in Microsoft's hold... at least not yet and not with Google's influence... not yet.

If anything, I would guess it could be yet another free software offering to install at WalMart and Fry's stores competing more with Linspire rather than Windows. It could also just be a way of weening itself away from anything Microsoft. (I suggest this without knowing what the average Google employee desktop uses.)

If Google were to attempt to replace Windows now or even in the near future, it would fail miserably and tarnish Google's image. Now is not the time.

Why would anyone trust this? (5, Insightful)

komodotoes (939836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607507)

With Google's habit of tracking and recording every bit of information it can get it's hands on (it's actually their *mission*), why would anyone trust a Google provided OS to allow privacy? They already track surfing habits through their toolbar and google-analytics, why is it a leap to think that they will use this to get even more marketing data?

google + linux = (2, Interesting)

illuminix (456294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607527)

More functionality is good, right? It's obviously not going to jump out of the box and replace Windows, but it will be a good next step for damn sure. Google has a lot of power and influence now, and I, for one, am giddy that this massive corporation is so pro-linux. Google has developed some pretty radical stuff.. If you're in to linux, how can you not be excited (or at least curious) about what google + linux distro = ?

I use gentoo + fluxbox myself, but I have a lovely vmware window waiting to try it.

Brand Recognition (2, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607535)

Has anyone stopped to consider the impact this will have on the linux world? Average Joe computer user likely doesn't know anything about linux, if they have even heard of it at all. However Average Joe computer user has more than likely heard of Google and uses it quite frequently. If Average Joe is upset with Microsoft and their OS (which many of them are, even if they do just accept it as a fact of life) and hears that those Google folks have a replacement there is a good chance they will check it out. Sure there is a learning curve, but I have seen quite a few people that don't know much about linux or administration happily switch to Ubuntu because it lets them do all the basic things a computer is good for (Surfing, email, word processing, etc) and doesn't turn into a sluggish piece of junk after 6 months. This really could be a big deal if it catches on.

Finish conquering Hotmail first.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607537)

I don't see Google coming with a Microsoft-killer yet. If I look around me only a handful of people actually use their GMail address, the rest keeps sticking to their Hotmail (which is *very* popular in the Netherlands). If they can't even get people to switch away from Hotmail, forget about getting them to switch away from Windows.
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