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Could open source abandon the Google train?

As arguably the world’s largest open-source company, Google has a big stake in maintaining its place at the heart of the open-source ecosystem. Recent events, however, suggest that Google can’t rest on its laurels if it wants to secure the hearts and minds of open-source developers.

Make no mistake: Google needs those developers. Android, Chrome (and Chrome OS), and other Google initiatives depend upon fostering vibrant open-source communities that can help it to surpass Microsoft and Apple.

Does Google need to search for new friends?

Such communities may be ready to cut the Google umbilical cord, however, which should be worrying to Google.

There have been rumblings that Mozilla would look to Google alternatives for the default search engine within Firefox, despite Mozilla pulling in 91 percent of its revenues from its Google partnership. Mozilla employee Asa Dotzler, though not speaking for the foundation, says that he’d welcome a switch from Google given its rising dominance over the Web.

Mozilla executive Mitchell Baker, for her part, has noted that alternatives (Yahoo, Microsoft) would likely pay Mozilla more money and give Firefox shelter from Google, which has been building a rival browser, Chrome.

If Mozilla needs a nudge, Canonical just gave it one, defaulting to Yahoo search for future versions of its popular Ubuntu Linux operating system.

Mozilla and Canonical represent the heart of the open-source community. If they move from Google, it paves the way for other communities to do so, too.

Mozilla and Canonical arguably have their financial self-interest at heart in such deals, but Gartner Research Vice President Brian Prentice points out an even bigger issue that could drive a wedge between Google and the wider open-source community:

Patents.

Google, after all, was recently granted a patent on its MapReduce parallel programming model. This puts the Apache Software Foundation Hadoop project firmly in its sights, even if Google likely has no intention to sue. It’s the uncertainty that may end up hurting the open-source community.

[T]he greatest threat to any open system is, in fact, uncertainty. And what Google has done here is to dump a whole lot of uncertainty onto the market.

–Brian Prentice, Gartner

Prentice queries whether

So, does that mean that it’s only a matter of time before Google’s legal team starts sending out letters seeking license fees? I don’t know. And that’s the point. No one else does either.

I would suggest to you all that the greatest threat to any open system is, in fact, uncertainty. And what Google has done here is to dump a whole lot of uncertainty onto the market.

To those asking Google to submit such patents to a commons to ensure they are only used for defensive purposes, Google’s response, as Prentice goes on, effectively amounts to “trust us – after all we’re not evil.”

Don’t get me wrong: Google is and will likely remain a very strong proponent of open-source software, with projects like Chrome that impress and push the boundaries of innovation.

But in its rush to serve a wide variety of customer needs, it may end up overlooking or stepping on its erstwhile partners (like Mozilla), and could pursue policies (like its MapReduce patent or even its H.264 video codec stance) that threaten the open-source community just as much as Microsoft has.

Google is powerful, but it still needs friends. Open source has been a chief ally of Google to date. Will it remain such? That’s an open question.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Google | | Leave a comment

Google Checkout gets a new boss

Google might be ready to get its Google Checkout service in line with the hiring of a new executive to oversee the division.

The New York Times reported that Google has hired former eBay executive Stephanie Tilenius as vice president of commerce, with marching orders to look over Google Checkout. Tilenius, who worked on eBay’s PayPal product while at the company, would seem a natural fit for the position.

Google Checkout gave eBay and PayPal executives fits when it was first announced back in 2006. But the service hasn’t done much to halt PayPal’s status as the de facto standard for online transactions by small businesses and Web sites.

Recent problems with Google Checkout have had merchants up in arms, exposing holes in Google’s customer service operation. Google Checkout is a key part of Google’s mobile strategy, however, serving as the payment processing platform for the Android Market and the only way to buy a Nexus One.

A Google representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tilenius’ role at Google

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Google | | Leave a comment

Google Buzz turns Gmail into a social networking site, Facebook and MySpace beware

An XKCD comic shows the following morning routine – 1) wake up, 2) catch up on the lives of friends around the world, 3) get out from under the covers. It sounds weird when you put it like that but it’s nonetheless true and it’s social networking that made it possible.

big Google Buzz turns Gmail into a social networking site, Facebook and MySpace beware

Now Google is launching Google Buzz – a social networking tool that integrates into Gmail and taps into a lot of other sites you might be using, like Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and Google Reader.

Facebook is apparently working on an email service, which will likely jump to a spot in the top three email services the moment it starts – Facebook has 400 million users or thereabouts. Google Buzz is doing the opposite – turning the (current) number one in email into a social networking site.

With Google Buzz, the search giant is playing to their strengths. When someone comments on an update you’ve posted, the comment goes straight into a dynamic entry in the Gmail Inbox.

Positioning is an important part of Google Buzz – but it’s not just your current coordinates, it’s the place you’re in. This uses Google Places – you can post a comment about the place, check out information about it and other places near it, look through comments of others about the same place and so on.

Google Buzz makes sharing photos and videos a child’s play – there’s a quick and easy to use photo browser and video player and posting images and videos is as simple as it gets. It imports content from Flickr and Picasa and it will even pull the images from a link you posted, so you just click on them and they are embedded into the post.

Buzz also shows the Twitter streams of your contacts and will recommend posts by your friends’ friends. By selecting which ones you like, Google Buzz will get even better at recommending comments that are interesting to you. For now however, it can only display Twitter feeds. Buzz also integrates the news feeds from Google Reader to push you to the brink of information overload.

Google Buzz will be heavily used as a mobile app – Apple iPhone and the Android are the first to get it, because they have HTML5 support for location-based services. Gizmodo has posted a hands-on for the mobile version, check it out.

Well, well – being a big company has its advantages, doesn’t it? Facebook email will get a huge user base even if only a quarter of their users sign up for the service, and because Google Buzz is integrated into Gmail and automatically imports you email contacts, it will get you through the hardest part of creating a new social networking account in an instant.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Facts of Google’s Go Programming Language

Its Google time!! Google has introduced a new open source programming language named as Go. The initial design of Go was started in September 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike and Ken Thompson and was officially announced in November 2009 which is compatible in Linux and Mac Operating system. Go is a expressive, concurrent, garbage-collected systems programming language. Google’s Words : Go is experimental to combines the performance , security benefits associated with C or C++ programming language and the speed of a dynamic language like python that means its Python Meets C++. Compilation of the code runs closer to C , even large binaries compile in just a few seconds.

Features not included in Go: 1. Exception handling 2. Type inheritance 3. Generic programming 4. Assertions 5. Method Overloading.

Learning of every language starts with a Program “Hello World“:

package main import fmt “fmt” // Package implementing formatted I/O. func main() { fmt.Printf(“Hello worldn”); }

The syntax of Go is very similar to C Programming language except the declarations type, other syntactical differences are , Go are missing parentheses around if and for expressions. Go is concurrent programming language but unlike to occam or Limbo (concurrent programming languages) , Go does not provide any in-built notion of safe or verifiable concurrency. Go has some feature of Pi calculus like channel passing.

In Summary , Go Programming Language is a..

  • simple
  • fast
  • safe
  • concurrent
  • fun
  • open source

Final words of Google : We are hoping Go turns out to be a great language for systems programming with support for multi-processing and a fresh and lightweight take on object-oriented design, with some cool features like true closures and reflection.

 

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January 3, 2010 Posted by | Google | , | 2 Comments

Introducing the google chrome OS

It’s been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.

Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.

We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.

We have a lot of work to do, and we’re definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision. We’re excited for what’s to come and we hope you are too. Stay tuned for more updates in the fall and have a great summer.

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Google | , , | Leave a comment

All New Google Wave!

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation

and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

What is a wave?

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.

A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Google | , | 1 Comment