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Re: What has Google done for us?

__/ [rapskat] on Monday 12 September 2005 16:14 \__

> You know, I was reflecting on all of the Big companies that have in some
> way or another benefitted off of Linux and Open Source, and what in return
> they have contributed back to the community.

In defence of Google:

Google's Summer of Code has just reached its end. Improvements to projects
like Apache assisted Google, but they also assisted us. There is an endless
list of other projects that they funded, some of which did not help Google

> For justabout any company I can think of, there has been some sort of
> reciprocity from them, with one major exception....Google.

The big question: do you expect reciprocity to be proportional to the budget
of the company?

> Google owes pretty much everything to Linux and Open Source, and yet with
> the exception of a few minor geek code projects, I can't think of anything
> they've done to give anything back directly to the Linux *User* community.
> All of their nifty little toys and gadgets are Windows (and some Mac)
> only.  Many of their services are preferential to Windows clients.
> Despite the fact that Linux and Open Source technologies pretty much power
> their entire infrastructure, they have done nothing to improve upon the
> Linux desktop.  They haven't even used their considerable influence and
> name recognition to get the Linux/OSS out to the masses.

I once thought along those line, but please allow me to say a few words.

A decent proportion of Windows users dislike the Linux community. They
sometimes describe Linux users as arrogant. Linux users are the same people
that complain about MSIE-only support, for example, which is something that
an average Windows user does not care for or even understands.

Moreover, Windows users do not know Linux. Anything that they do not know,
they fear. A company that chooses something else becomes estranged. Google
understand it, which is why they kept GBoxes in the dark and only recently
made a mentioning of Linux.

To use some basic psychlogical and philosphical ideas, by accepting Google,
a Windows/Mac user may accept Linux, acknowledging its supremacy. By doing
so, the user confirms his/her _wrong_ choice of O/S. That, my friend, is
never good for business.

> Google is turning out to be yet another deadbeat leech IMHO.  They profit
> big off of Linux/OSS, but they are nowhere to be found when it comes to
> contributing back in any significant manner.

Many times before I complained about the lack of support for GNU/Linux
platforms. Let us face the fact, however, that compilation and support for
the variety of Linux distributions, for example, can be difficult.
Furthermore, under some circumstances, it might expose code to the
competition. To sum up, I would stick to Google regardless. Time will make
the difference.


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "No, I didn't buy that from eBay"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    |     PGP-Key: 74572E8E
  4:15pm  up 18 days 11:21,  3 users,  load average: 2.02, 1.31, 1.10

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