Google: Linux is for Internal Use Only

Google has publicly admitted that it is using Linux, specifically the Ubuntu distro, but for internal use only. There’s lots of hype generated on the Internet, particularly in the blogosphere, that Google is readying a weapon to challenge Microsoft’s dominance in desktop computing (read Windows).

Personally, I think this has been blown way out of proportion. Google is one of those modern companies who are good at identifying a niche and profiting from it. Google is also good at expanding the boundaries of this niche, but at a rate that doesn’t leave a bad taste for its core customer base. In my opinion, desktop computing is just not part of Google’s business expansion strategy, at least in the short to medium term.

Let’s be honest, which company doesn’t use Linux in one way or another? Heck, even Microsoft uses Linux to an extent. Mind you, this is a big enough extent to the point that Microsoft even have its own Linux Lab. Just because this is Google we’re talking about, suddenly lots of people are labelling this as Google’s inroad to desktop computing.

4 responses to “Google: Linux is for Internal Use Only”.

  1. Dabido (Teflon) Says:

    I agree with you.

    It seems a lot of people (particularly on Slashdot) want to make the world into an MS versus Google type thing, where Google are good and MS is evil, and they’re hoping Google will challenge MS everywhere and anywhere.

    ‘Let’s be honest, which company doesn’t use Linux in one way or another?’

    Last company I worked for, we had a few Linux Machines, but the managers wanted them out, as they equated FREE with Doesn’t Work. I know other companies who also refuse to use Linux, which is a shame, as the attitude that ‘Free = Doesn’t work’ versus ‘Expensive = must be good’ is just stupid. But, try convincing managers and accountants of that.

  2. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    I’ve spent most parts of my working life convincing (mostly senior and middle) management why Linux is a viable alternative to MS Windows. I mostly succeed in making them see the value Linux provides to their IT infrastructure.

    The only time when I had problems doing this was when I was working in Singapore. However, honestly though, the typical Singaporean management style is exactly as you’ve mentioned… ie. cheap/free couldn’t be good. And this creeps way up the social hierarchy.

    For all the technological advances that Singapore has over Malaysia and other countries in SE Asia, this is definitely one area where almost every other country in this region can kick Singapore’s ass. Singapore just isn’t going to be a hotbed of Linux and/or Open Source development.

    Getting back to the topic… yeah the geeky/techie crowd is almost always turning any scenario into a good vs evil kind of thing. Probably it’s a natural reaction.

    And yeah… whatever happened to “that last company you worked for”?

  3. Dabido (Teflon) Says:

    Well, the last company I worked for is still around, but I have no idea how.

    Just before I left I was offered the Network managers role, but turned it down (as management wanted a ‘Yes’ man). After I left the NEW Network manager even bragged to me that they ran without a firewall for two months … which was illegal (as they’re in the finance sector) as well a totally stupid. I’m surprised nobody hacked in.

    While I was there they’d had a few attempts to hack into them (mainly via Korea and soem other places) and Management (who were mainly accountants) still couldn’t see why security was important. (Which is one of the reasons I left. It’s a matter of time before they have a major breach … and they fired the Security guy who was always on our side [Networks] and installed some other guy who seemed to know nothing about security).

    It’s a weird world … I just hope when that company is breached they put all the managers up against the wall for their stupidity.

  4. David Sumter Says:

    We used to have linucks and eunichs here, maybe 10%

    the support costs were just too much

    yeah the OS was free, but to make it work as well as Vista was alot of work. We had to hire a linux guy just to deal with 80 PC’s!!

    We now have a pure Microsoft network at freightliner, and all the apps are 100% Microsoft logo approved, and compliant with MS standards. Havent seen a blue screen since 1999. Do they still use blue?