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Wednesday, June 14th, 2006, 8:35 am

Google’s Take on Operating Systems

Google Earth
Click to enlarge the image

GOOGLE Earth has been released for Linux (see my SUSE screenshot for proof), following the Mac OS X version and preceded by the Windows version.

Let us look further. Google Talk is another example of a similar ‘porting channel’. It began with Windows support, just like most desktop applications from Google. Then, there is Picasa, which was ported to Linux using the Wine layer, with several features disabled. There is a whole variety of applications that began as native Windows programs. This appears to be the trend rather than a mere coincidence. A few days ago, SketchUp from Google was ported to the Mac. No Linux version, as yet.

This simple observation leaves you wondering if Google, a company that is heavily dependent on Open Source software, even owing its success to Linux, perceives Windows (with a userbase majority) as a top priority. Only then come the Mac users, Linux being at the bottom (or top rather) of the pyramid. Considering the fact that Linux is more prevalent than Mac OS X (based on several surveys), it would seem as though Google unfairly favours Mac users while neglecting the loyal Linux users, whose number is underestimated. It is worth emphasising that even Google engineers use Linux (Goobuntu) on their desktops. Don’t they have a say?

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