When Google made their announcement yesterday [Thursday November 20, 2009], included in their release statement was the fact that their new operating system would be open source. Some of you may not know what open source is. Basically the term means that creative works are shared by anyone and everyone, including modification of the code by any user. But in the case of the Google operating system, the company sought out Canonical the makers of Ubuntu, a Linux distribution, which Canonical describes as:

In the interest of transparency, we should declare that Canonical is contributing engineering to Google under contract.  In our discussions, Sundar Pichai and Linus Upson made it clear that they want , wherever feasible,  to build on existing components and tools from the open source community without unnecessary re-invention.   This clear focus should benefit a wide variety of existing projects and we welcome it.

On the consumer side, people will ask about the positioning of Chrome OS and Ubuntu. While the two operating systems share some core components, Google Chrome OS will provide a very different experience to Ubuntu.  Ubuntu will continue to be a general purpose OS running both web and native applications such as OpenOffice and will not require specialised hardware.

So 2010 looks set to be a very exciting year. In addition to delivering Ubuntu experiences with both existing and new OEM partners, we will be working with Google on Chrome OS based devices.

The reason I am bringing this up is that some folks are writing that Google Chromium is nothing more than a browser. Some are even saying that Google will fail at this venture and that this new distribution will compete against other Linux distributions.

I think that Canonical sees the wisdom in what Google is doing and how can benefit all open source programs. If you were to ask the average consumer about Linux they most likely would think it is some type of a car. With Google branding the introduction of Linux can and will become mainstream. Just my 2 cents.

But what do you think? Are you interested in having a light weight operatin system that takes advantage of cloud computing? hare your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.