Google pushing software to low-cost Linux PCs

Google is collaborating with Linux developers to load its software on Linux distributions for low-cost PCs.

With an eye for larger adoption of Linux, Google is actively working with open-source developers to integrate its applications in the OS, a Linux developer said on Tuesday.

By working with developers, Google may be trying to push more of its applications in netbooks, low-cost laptops designed to run basic applications for Web surfing and e-mail, said David Liu, Good OS Founder and President, at the Linuxworld conference in San Francisco.

Google's software offerings includes Web-based applications like Google Docs and Spreadsheets and Google Gadgets, mini-applications that sit on desktops to perform small desktop functions. Although in their infancy, shipments for netbooks are expected to explode in the next few years.

Google and Good collaborated to pre-load Google's Gadget mini-applications on GOS Gadgets 3, Good's upcoming Linux distribution, Liu said. The mini-applications allow users to play games and check system applications like battery power and the strength of a wireless network signal.

The OS is built for Netbooks and Google's applications make sense, Liu said. Google's Gadget applications use little power, and Web-hosted applications could be better for laptops with limited resources, Liu said. The OS also links to around 100,000 Gadgets on Google's Web site.

Microsoft and Apple also include the mini-applications in their Windows Vista and Mac OS X operating systems, respectively.

Although Google's Gadgets applications are available to everyone, Google developers in Beijing helped Good integrate the applications in GOS, Liu said. The collaboration was not an official announcement, but the companies worked together to ensure the applications worked properly.

Google tries not to be visibly present itself in an open-source collaboration with software vendors, Liu said. Google is also actively involved in other projects like Wine, an emulation software that allows Windows applications like Microsoft Office to run natively on Linux, Liu said. Wine is bundled in GOS to run Windows applications.

"They are fueling the fire, whether it is software or not," Liu said.

IDC has said that netbook shipments will reach around 9 million by 2012. The poster-child of netbooks, Asustek's Eee PC, sold 350,000 units in its first quarter since launch in October last year. However, Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek, went on to say that demand for Windows-based netbooks would be higher than Linux-based Netbooks.

GOS Gadgets 3 prepackages other Google applications like Picasa and links to Web-based applications like Gmail. It will be available for free in September and the company is in talks with PC manufacturers to pre-load the OS on low-cost laptops.

Google did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?