"Let's face it. Google pretty much owns the Internet landscape. Unless something truly unexpected happens within the web community, I see no real indicator that they'll lose their market share anytime soon. This also opens them up to other online opportunities should they decide to pursue them. One such opportunity is believed to be the much famed idea of a Google OS. The rumors have been floating around back and forth for awhile now and many people believe that it's simply a matter of time. Well I'm here to tell you that this is never going to happen; at least not in a form that we might expect to see, that is."
"Google Spreadsheets are in the 'sneak peek' phase. The two big questions seem to be a) why would anyone want to use a potentially non-secure spreadsheet with limited capabilities, and b) how will we refer to the primitive era before online spreadsheets, which revolutionized life as we know it (which, of course, leads to a related question: what kind of silver jumpsuit is most comfortable when you're crunching numbers?)?"
Google has released a beta version of Google Earth 4, which runs on all the three major platforms. "We got so excited around here about the first anniversary of Google Earth that we decided to celebrate a bit early. Beginning today, you can download a brand new version, Google Earth 4. Running on OS X? Feel the love. Prefer Linux? Ditto. Yes, we're releasing simultaneously for PC, Mac (universal binary for full performance on both Intel and PowerPC based Macs) and for the first time ever, native support for popular Linux distributions." They have also seriously increased the amount of high-res images, so that now about 20% of the world's landmass is in high-res. Including my hometown, Warmenhuizen .
Google has released a new tool which allows users to synchronize their Cookies, Saved Passwords, Bookmarks, History and tabs from their last session for the Firefox web browser. All of this data is uploaded to Google's servers continuously (and has the option to be encrypted), and then downloaded every time you launch Firefox on any computer with the extension installed.
Google is launching an online spreadsheet that will let you load Excel files and share documents online. Up to 10 people can work on the spreadsheet at the same time - the names of people editing and reading it will appear in a chat window. Users can save the documents to their Google account or export them as .csv, .xls or html files. Like the launch of Gmail, Google is limiting the number of new users for software - still in beta - to avoid overloading its systems. Cnet wonders, should Microsoft be worried?
"I had a course on distributed system in my Engineering curriculum, and I was really fascinated with the way people use this technology for work. As my interest grew in this field, I started to read a lot on this. As a result, while browsing a few pages, I found a link to Google File System. Honestly, it didn’t make any sense to me. Where would Google deploy this proprietary file system? Or is Google planning to have an operating system? I decided to have a look at it nonetheless and here’s a quick overview of my findings."
Dell and Google have struck a deal, Google's CEO confirmed on May 25. Speaking at an investor conference in Las Vegas, Google CEO Eric Schmidt acknowledged that Dell and Google have reached an agreement. Schmidt provided few details of the agreement that earlier speculation had placed in the $1 billion range. So far a co-branded Web site is the most visible aspect of the collaboration, but the cracks that occurred in the Microsoft/Dell/Intel troika when Dell allowed AMD to come to its party, have now reached the earthquake stage.
Google Labs has released Picasa for Linux, ported using Wine by CodeWeavers. The free Picasa download is available now. My Take: The software requirements are fairly hefty in that some features require cutting edge programs like HAL and a 2.6+ kernel, but this is fantastic news for Linux users. Picasa is an excellent program that rivals iPhoto. Update by AS : Google ported Picasa using Wine, but it was still a LOT of work and the result was completely effective. Please read more on the WineHQ mailing list. Update 2: You do not need Wine installed to run this - it's a self-contained Wine lib. Also, the Picasa download apparently doesn't work from all countries. Update by TH: Here's a review.
At its annual Press Day Wednesday, Google introduced three new services while attempting to kill the popular story in the media that it is involved in a fierce winner-take-all battle with Microsoft. Instead, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that there would never be a single victor. Schmidt said that having a single search engine would stagnate innovation. Competition, on the other hand, would support growth as well as advertising prices, and he added that there was room in the industry for more than one strategy.
Mad Penguin has published a short review of the Penguicon 4.0 convention and has an interview with Chris DiBona of Google. When asked what percentage of people at Google use Linux, he replied: "Probably way more than half. I don't know the exact ratios though. All the developers use it and most of the engineers and sysadmins."
Google has made informal complaints to competition authorities in Europe and the US about default settings in Microsoft's IE7. The latest Microsoft browser includes a small window so users can search without opening up a specific page. The default setting sends users to MSN for searches - just as equivalent features in Opera and Firefox send browsers to Google. A spokesman for the search giant told the New York Times it was concerned Microsoft was limiting choice. My take: ...
PCMag reviews Google's SketchUp beta. "Google SketchUp Beta, the brand new, free 3D drawing tool isn't an obvious fit for the Google desktop application canon. However, this blend of vector-based 3D drawing and CAD-like control lets you rapidly build 3D models that can be exported to numerous bitmap and compressed file formats and, more importantly, geo-coded and shared on the company's Google Earth satellite imagery program, which is also free. So, it's a undeniably cool, oddball app that has the potential to turn one of Google's most popular services, Google Earth, into an even more powerful and personal tool."
"A number of you have emailed us with one question on your minds: Will there be a Summer of Code this year? The answer, as you might have guessed, is yes! The SoC is our program to introduce students to the world of Open Source software development. Last year of the 8744 applicants, 419 students were accepted into the program and more than 80% of them succeeded, which means they received the full stipend of $4500. As of today, we're taking in applications from mentoring organizations, so watch that list of mentoring organizations grow!"
Google is contemplating a move to join the Eclipse Foundation in some capacity. Greg Stein, an engineering manager in the open-source group at Google and chairman of the Apache Software Foundation, told eWEEK that Google has considered joining Eclipse and has talked with Eclipse's executive director, Mike Milinkovich, about the possibility.
Phil Sim, a professional with technology editor journalist background, has written three interesting blog posts recently, discussing the much-rumored Google OS (1, 2, 3). He speculates that all user's data will be stored online on Google's servers and so one's desktop and files can be retrieved exactly as left by any other PC station, anywhere in the world, by simply using his Gmail credentials. It's like having your OS on a usb key with you at all times, only, without the usb key...
In a move that alleviates some privacy concerns, a federal judge granted part of a Justice Department request for Google search data but said users' search queries were off-limits. The 21-page order issued Friday by US District Judge James Ware, represented little change from his stance at a hearing earlier this week.
Talk of an imminent sale of Sun to Google has been swirling around trading floors and Silicon Valley for more than a week. Shares of Sun, which has a partnership with Google to develop and distribute each other’s technology, spiked up about 4 percent last week as a result of the rumors. The speculation got even more legs after Google purchased Writely, a maker of a web-based word processor that some people viewed as a product to be added to Sun’s StarOffice suite, which Google may help distribute. It’s also convenient that Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, is the former chief technology officer of Sun.
"In issue 77 of Linux Format we have an interview with Chris DiBona - former Slashdot editor, developer, OSS consultant and now Google's open source program manager. Here are a few of the questions we asked Chris, along with his answers."
Google and CodeWeavers are working together to bring Google's popular Windows Picasa photo editing and sharing program to Linux. The program is now in a limited beta test. If this program is successful, other Google applications will be following it to the Linux desktop, sources say. The Linux Picasa implementation includes the full feature set of the Windows Picasa 2.x software. It is not, strictly speaking, a port of Picasa to Linux. Instead, Linux Picasa combines Windows Picasa code and Wine technology to run Windows Picasa on Linux. This, however, will be transparent to Linux users, when they download, install, and run the free program on their systems.