Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Google OS

So for a couple weeks I've been brewing in my head a blog post about how what Linux really needs is for Google to come in and work it's magic, but that will never happen because it doesn't fit into Google's business model. So I've been thinking about this for a while and was hoping to post something real soon when just yesterday Google announced they are gearing up to do what I've been working on posting they will never do, which is build their own Linux-based operating system.

From http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html

So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

That's right, Google is going to have it's own OS. For now it is just aimed at netbooks, and maybe that is as far as it will go. However, the increased influx of Linux development Google will be putting behind Linux should increase as it works to ensure that the new OS works as great as every other Google product.

I am curious to see how this all plays out. I have read some say that this is just another Linux distribution, but that comes from a short-sighted view of what Linux is. It is not an operating system, it is a kernel which an operating system can be built on top of. Nobody pays any attention when they use their TIVO, gPhone, router, or other Linux powered device that they are using Linux. They are simply paying attention to the fact that they are using their device, which is exactly how a device should be.

Google is probably the only company that has the money, power, clout, commitment, and proper understanding of how to utilize open source effectively to make this work. Canonical has made a really good stab at it, but they simply are no Google.