2 Reasons Why Google Should Buy Ubuntu

In its apocalyptic battle with both Microsoft and Apple, there is one thing that both companies have that Google does not: a desktop OS. Chrome OS at best, is just a bridge OS. No matter how one looks at things today, there are hundreds of millions of machines out there powered by Windows or Mac OSX. 
I’m not sure we’ll all wake up one day and suddenly realise we’re living in the “cloud”. Google needs to equally have a traditional desktop OS, and I strongly suggest the purchase of Ubuntu Linux. Here’s why
Better competition with Microsoft
So Google’s Chrome OS is out. And it’s aimed at so called thin clients. That’s cool. But what about the “fat clients” that are in the majority today? Windows is Microsoft’s cash cow. To be able to compete with Redmond head on, Google would need to bring to the table not what it thinks people will be using in the future, but also a better alternative to what they are using today, until that elusive future is reached. 
Living in a part of the world where the cost of bandwidth is still on the high, it’s very difficult to see value in a cloud based OS other than the traditional one. There are also people and businesses that use Windows because either the Windows applications they depend on have no Linux alternatives or where there are, those alternatives don’t meet their requirements.
Google with its clout can get ISVs to port their applications to Linux. If the application my employer uses has a version for the Linux OS, why would I not evangelise it (Linux) to my bosses? Also, what’s the value in having Android/Chrome OS power smartphones/tablets/netbooks and when it comes to the desktop where more heavy lifting of internet activities take place, there’s suddenly no Google backed Linux presence? 
The Android Magic
Given the fact that there are millions of people that use Android without having the foggiest idea it’s Linux, one would expect that Google would have tried to replicate such a feat on the desktop first before going very futuristic with Chrome OS. 
Properly packaging Linux for the masses will again give Google the exact success its enjoying with Android in that given its price point (free definitely), array of commercial grade applications available and polish, more and more OEMs will be more than likely to give shipping their boxes with Linux some thought.
And how does Google gain I hear you ask? Simple. First it could ship the OS with its Chrome browser (I personally would not mind Ubuntu shipping with Chrome, really). Secondly, owning the OS will give it a better insight into developing seamless syncing with its other platforms for the myriad form factors those platforms support.  Also, it would help them tightly integrate their vast array of services into their OS platforms and thereby replicate the Apple “Garden of Eden” experience, but in an open environment.
There is a lot of space in the desktop market that currently only Microsoft and to a lesser extent Apple are making use of. There is still a lot of money to be made in that part of the market. Also Chrome OS, no matter what Google would want us to believe, cannot be a serious substitute to Microsoft Windows. Grab an already popular brand of OS and throw in the gauntlet more fully Google!

7 Replies to “2 Reasons Why Google Should Buy Ubuntu”

  1. I guess it was not that apparent from the post. But when I say to buy Ubuntu, I mean the parent company, Canonical, which then give them the Ubuntu brand.

  2. Agree, Google should buy Canonical, but, the Ubuntu brand should change, perhaps to Chrome Desktop, to identify with Google. Or change it too, perhaps Gdesktop ???
    Google should buy Twitter too. Twitter is DA BOMB, and Google would know how to extract cash from it(You Tube comes to mind, since it was hard at the beginning to earn money from videos, but Google figured out how to do it – Annoying Ads in videos, but…)

  3. Your comment-reply buttons seem wonky, so yeah.

    What would Google actually gain? (Almost) all the software is free, so there's no technology gained.
    Ubuntu may have a quite large market share for a Linux distro, but it's still quite small. Google could market something new better.

    Canonical wasn't turning a profit last I checked. No financial gain.

    Want a desktop OS? http://www.debian.org
    Want something Google can use to use your activities to make itself money? Chrome OS.

    I'm not a huge fan of Google's direction, but I don't think anything in this article actually makes sense.
    Google would make Ubuntu even _less_ appealing.

  4. OK GZeus, let's look at it again shall we?

    Just like Google managed to virtually destroy Nokia and RIM with its Android offering, it can do same to MS on the desktop.

    Here's how. By polishing and perfecting the OS and giving it away for free, it gives OEMs an incentive to actually offer Google's baby.

    Remember, Windows is still a huge chunk of MS's business. By weakening it through a Linux offering, it forces MS to actually rethink its other offerings.

    For instance, Bing virtually bribes you and I to use it. If in the long term MS suffers a hit in its cash cow offering, it would likely scale down on its other offerings, like Bing which would ultimately leave Google still a market leader.

    Also remember, Google hardly makes direct income from many of its offerings. It gives out Android for free and makes money by ads on the platform.

    It could similarly give out a full fledged OS that has ISVs writing applications for it. Enterprises will likely jump on board a free offering that supports their software than pay the MS taxes.

    And I don't know what you mean but last I also checked, Google wasn't buying other companies for their profitability either. Android never turned a dime when Google bought it.

    Chrome OS may be for you, but not me. Nor my employer, or my junior sister. At best, it's a bridge OS. Nothing that will have make any serious headway in the enterprise and mission critical areas.

    Debian is no doubt great, but IMHO, it's not the be all that you'd want me to believe.

  5. I can see why a purchase of an existing GNU/Linux distribution would be a good strategic move for Go0ogle but why, oh why, Canonical? SUSE would seem a better target if Atatchmate would part with it and it would give much better penetration into the business sector where Microsoft would be even more inconvenienced by a strong Google backed offering.
    Another possibility might be something like Mint…ever more so as it slowly distances itself from Ubuntu and becomes a range of Debian based products.

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