Google Confirms Using Ubuntu Linux, Won't Say Why - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

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.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll