Hey Google, Where’s The Linux Apps?

    November 16, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A member of a Denver Linux development shop wonders why Google hasn’t made its applications available for Linux systems.

It’s pretty remarkable that considering Google’s fabled use of Linux on thousands of servers and hundreds of desktops that all the desktop applications coming out of the Googleplex, with the solitary exception of the Gmail Notifier for Mac OS X, only run on Windows machines.

But the list of Google applications from the Toolbar through Talk all share a uniform platform: Windows.

Google certainly has the engineering talent to port its applications to Linux. Red Hat was Google’s first corporate customer. The search engine’s commitment to open source has seen it donate cash to university open source projects, and spend quite a bit on developers through its “Summer of Code.”

At this point in time, Google doesn’t seem to want to put out code that would be swiftly opened and hacked upon by hundreds of programmers worldwide. That could be changing, with the presence of Chris DiBona in Google HQ, as noted here:

Dated October 26, 2005 DiBona is familiar with these complaints, and indicated that they are usually made by users dissatisfied by the lack of applications like Picasa, Earth, or Desktop being available for the Linux platform. DiBona emphasized that all of Google’s software are undergoing ports, so ultimately these tools will be ready for Linux, too.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.