News
News
1/31/2006
05:25 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Google Confirms Using Ubuntu Linux, Won't Say Why

Reports are circulating that Google is readying a desktop competitor to Microsoft, but a Google spokeswoman says the Linux is for "internal" use only.

Google Inc. on Tuesday confirmed that it is using Ubuntu desktop Linux technology internally, but remained tightlipped about its purpose.

The Register, a U.K.-based technology news site, reported Tuesday that the Mountain View, Calif., search engine was developing its own Linux distribution for the desktop using the Ubuntu open-source operating system.

A Google spokeswoman confirmed that the company uses Ubuntu technology, but declined to say what for.

"We utilize the Ubuntu technology for internal use, but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company," the spokeswoman said. She also denied the company was using the name "Goobunto" internally for the software, saying, "It's just an internal system."

Ubuntu, an ancient African word meaning humanity to others, is an open-source project founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, who also founded the Shuttleworth Foundation shortly after selling his Internet security company, Thawte, in 2000. The Ubuntu Linux distribution, which is available at no charge, is based on the Debian Linux distribution and the Gnome desktop.

The report led to speculation among bloggers that Google might be readying a desktop OS to take on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, a scenario many experts consider unlikely.

"If there's any company that can pull off the open-source attack on Microsoft, I think Google is it," said the blog Dymaxion World.

Speculation on Google's plans for the desktop arises each time the company releases more software for Microsoft's home turf, the PC. The latest release, Google Pack, was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., this month. The suite included Google's mapping software, photo organizer, screensaver, desktop search and toolbar for Internet Explorer, as well as products from third parties, such as Mozilla's Firefox browser.

Some analysts say its unlikely that Google would challenge Microsoft with a competing operating system on the PC, given the latter company's domination of the platform. Instead, Google could be using Ubuntu for developing software products, for its own infrastructure or for Linux research.

"If Google has decided to release a Linux product, then it would make sense to have an internal platform for (software) development," Joe Wilcox, analyst for JupiterResearch, said.

At this point, however, everything is speculation. "Google could be using (Ubuntu) for a lot of different things internally," Wilcox said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.