Google Blog… and a Linus interview!

Google’s got a blog too: http://www.google.com/googleblog/.

Seattle Times has published an interview they did recently with Linus Torvalds. While it’s nothing spectacular, there’s one bit that interested me:
Q. Where do you expect Linux to see its biggest growth over the next five years?
A. I’ve felt strongly that the advantage of Linux is that it doesn’t have a niche or any special market, but that different individuals and companies end up pushing it in the direction they want, and as such you end up with something that is pretty balanced across the board.

I continue to feel that the desktop is interesting, because it’s how I personally have always used Linux, and what I myself have been interested in. It’s also the technically (and marketwise) most challenging area, which makes me appreciate it all the more. And clearly there is a lot of budding interest in the area from the commercial players.

I’m enthused by the fact that even Linus is interested in the development of Linux as a serious desktop Operating System. It’s all very well if we nerds on Slashdot keep hailing each passing year as the “Year of the Linux Desktop”, but unless someone who’s in a leadership role in the Linux community (and who better than Linus) believes that serious steps need to be taken to make Linux a real desktop-worthy OS, nothing’s going to happen. So I’m glad Linus recognises the Desktop as the next area for Linux to make inroads into.

Linus also recognises the role that commercial players will play in Desktop Linux, while also conceding that it’s the most challenging “technically and marketwise”.

After Google Toolbar, Google Desktop Search!

Google’s launched a desktop search tool, Google Desktop. A Windows-only tool for now, Google Desktop can search your Outlook emails, AOL IM conversations, plain text files, cached/saved web pages, MS Office files, and a few more (can it search PDFs? I dont know).

The Google Desktop first indexes the above files (you can choose which ones to leave out) when your computer is idle. An interesting feature is that while there is a system tray icon, the search tool itself is completely web-based. Clicking on “Search” or “Preferences” on the system tray icon will bring up a browser window with a search form, a la Google’s own home page.

This marks another step in Google’s foray onto our desktops. Not content with being merely a web-based search tool, Google has quietly released a few applications for our desktops. Think Google Toolbar, Picasa, GMail Agent.