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Google OS "screenshot" - Courtesy
A lot of rumors have been published on the Internet about the possibility of a Google operating system - it is becoming difficult to pick fact from fiction

There have been conflicting reports about whether or not Google will be releasing its own Linux desktop distribution.  The Register recently reported that Google will be releasing "Goobuntu," a Linux distribution based on the popular Ubuntu operating system.  Ars Technica countered The Register's article by citing a Google spokeswoman who said Google has no immediate plans to distribute an operating system.

Dozens of "leaked" screenshots have surfaced of Goobuntu, but Google rumors seem to be a dime a dozen these days.  The main proponents for a Goobuntu OS believe Google has already expressed interest in bundling and distributing a software enterprise a la Google Pack, but the opponents argue that Linux's licensing restrictions would ultimately make such a venture impossible.

Regardless of the outcome, it looks like "Goobuntu" is going to be a part of our lexicon for a while. 

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Seems unlikely
By phisrow on 2/1/2006 4:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
Since Google's market is online search and advertising, an OS seems like an odd thing for them to try. They already have access to people's desktops with considerably lower barrier to entry by means of their desktop search program, and toolbar and whatnot. The only real reason I can see for them to produce an OS would be to try to cut MS's margins, so as to keep them from spending as much to improve the MSN tools to the point where they are a threat.

Even that seems really silly, though. Office is where the best margins are, and barriers like driver support are lower, so that would be the logical point of attack, if they were going after MS's margins. You would expect them to contribute money and programmers to OpenOffice, and Support to ODF. They may be doing that, I don't know.

Supporting the development of Linux and its collection of desktop programs might well make sense, and their summer of code stuff has done some of that; but there seems little reason for them to saddle themselves with a big, troublesome support task so far outside their usual area.

RE: Seems unlikely
By hans007 on 2/1/2006 5:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
they already are contributing to openoffice.

when i said uniting linux, it doesnt really matter i think if the debian people would get upset about ubuntu.

all that would matter was that a company worth 130 billion dollars was behind a linux distro. and a respected company that is a household name. it would still be good for linux in general i think. it would more force people to back ubuntu as it is what google is supporting. sure it would well really piss off some of the slashdot crowd but for general linux acceptance it would probably be good.

RE: /agree
By shaitan on 2/1/2006 9:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
google does support opensource.. look at all the open APIs and direct links to sourceforge..

debian people do not really matter, your going to piss off somebody know matter what u do. (no offence) With all this TCPA stuff comming out its dark days ahead for MS crap.
I want to see a linux distro be shoved down peoples throats. - mean come on... people are using MACs out there!
Google did hire that microshaft OS programmer.
G has ventured into free wifi in San Francisco.
They have just about all the free apps to run on a OS
They are prob. the only company with the trust of people to do something like this~~

butt. what games will i be able to play? will i have all my graphics software available?
Or will i still need to have a windows box for that stuff.

thoes are my major issues with a OS. total control over all media in my house through one machine.
cup#3 of coffee down.

RE: /agree
By theubergeek on 2/1/2006 11:04:09 AM , Rating: 2
Hate to break it to ya, but for the most past, OSX is a modified Linux distro. A simple tour of the console reveals that very quickly.

RE: /agree
By Questar on 2/1/2006 11:48:48 AM , Rating: 3
Hate to break it to ya, but for the most past, OSX is a modified Linux distro. A simple tour of the console reveals that very quickly.


OSX is based on BSD Unix.

Linux != Unix.

RE: /agree
By theubergeek on 2/1/2006 3:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
Oops... I knew that too.

Why do you assume a desktop OS?
By mjones on 2/1/2006 12:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree that google challenging Microsoft to an OS duel is stupid. It's not going to happen.

Now, if I try to be a futurist, what if they are creating the foundation of the NEXT operating system (think MSDOS->Windows). What if the next "OS" is more of a "web based environment." Haven't people been talking about this kind of thing for years?

What if I use my windows/linux/osx pc to log on to my NET OS where I'm given access to all kinds of things...productivity software (open office?), music (google itunes?), video (google video), all the other things i can't think of?

What if they have figured out a way to make all there products play well together in one package? An this is all based on there custom linux framework which watches, manages, and records everything you do. (Maybe the WiFi is part of the plan too. Plug in to your Google OS anywhere.)

Obviously I'm just making wild predictions, but I seems more likly to me that Google is looking into ways to levearge there infrastruture and control more of your computing time.

By kattanna on 2/1/2006 1:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
a true NET OS would be interesting..and make sense for google

another desktop linux distro...LOL please no

there are already too many different versions of linux as it is, which IMO is why linux will never take over the desktop for the average user...too many incompatabilites.

RE: Why do you assume a desktop OS?
By T1 on 2/1/2006 2:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
OS over the net?

No way. With most OSes taking up gigabytes, I would have to wait a week to boot it over my dial-up connection.

By ninjit on 2/1/2006 4:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
That's not what a network OS is.

Lookup info on the Sun Ray system, thin clients etc.

By Shining Arcanine on 2/1/2006 9:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
The idea of a "net OS" would be to simply access the internet and the actual operating system is not stored on some server on the internet but on your PC, more likely with a flash chip more than anything else. It is not to have the OS stored over the internet, which while it is something that can be done, it is something that is entirely different.

By hans007 on 2/1/2006 2:15:45 AM , Rating: 2
a google OS would legitimize ubuntu as an OS to the rest of the world. It would bring people to linux. it would unite open source.

yeah that is about all. It is support from a huge player.

RE: .
By Saist on 2/1/2006 2:35:13 AM , Rating: 2
Problem is, it wouldn't.

Ubuntu itself has been openly hostile to the Debian movement, often times intentionally breaking compatibility. Ubuntu's past has also been a large source of controversy over whether or not the Distrobutions in the DCCA should use Ubuntu kernel sources instead of sources provided by Mepis from Debian repositories ( )

Google supporting Ubuntu officially would create a firestorm inside the Debian communities, and that's not even considering how the RPM based distrobutions would react.

No. It wouldn't unite open source, it'd just tick everybody off who already is heavily involved.

Now, Google joining the DCCA and distributing it's own Debian based system... that would probably be a much better turn out for the Debian Distros, although again RPM based distro's wouldn't be very happy.

RE: .
By Shining Arcanine on 2/1/2006 9:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
Chances are that if they are going to enter the OS market, they will want to make their own OS, and that means diverging paths from whatever they start off with rather than simply rebranding something. So if Google makes an OS, their development of it will not significantly help any open source community more than writing their own kernal from scratch would.

LOL @ "screenshot"
By UNCjigga on 2/1/2006 2:08:30 AM , Rating: 2
That's gotta be the worst fake "screenshot" I've seen--and its old as hell.

The question we should be asking is does a Google OS even make sense? What would it be used for? A custom Linux distro to power their search appliances? What would it do that any other OS or distro couldn't? How would it leverage Google's existing tools, apps etc.? While I'm sure they have the talent and the resources to build an OS, I'm not sure how that fits into their business model. Just because they can doesn't mean they will.

Google is a search engine
By Snuffalufagus on 2/1/2006 4:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
They offer web based tools and such, they have ad generated revenue. What makes everyone think they would ever offer an OS? I'm curious as I've seen a lot of speculation here, but never anything solid from anywhere.

Open Office Google
By ted61 on 2/1/2006 11:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
I like the idea of a big name player throwing some money Sun's way to improve open office. My $20 donation doesn't help them much but a big name player with deep pockets sure would help a lot.

Open Office is so good now, it is dominating the desktop PC's in my house. I have open office running on win 2k, XP and Linux (Mandriva). OO is awesome.

By Heatlesssun on 2/2/2006 3:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
Goggle is all about thin client/distributed computing. A desktop OS would be a step backwards wouldn't it.

Let's face it folks. The desktop is a one pony show, well maybe 1.5 pony show.

Windows, then a dusting MacOS, with sprinkles of Linux. That will not change for at LEAST a decade, and then its going to take so technological breakthorugh to make it change.

Google's smart enough to not deal in the world, at least not now.

Google just brought Writely
By 59ideas on 3/11/2006 12:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
There is no need to create an operating system because the web is the biggest operating system.

Google just beefed up their office application with Writely. They already had GMail.

Very likely a full suite would be ready before the end of this year.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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