Google is not building a Desktop OS. I know for sure since I just heard it from Google’s VP for Engineering, Dr. Alan Eustace, who, apparently got his Ph.D. at my school. I attended the one and a half hour talk at UCF, and among the questions at the end of the presentation was whether Google will build (or is building) a desktop OS. He replied saying it is a difficult venture, requiring too much manpower, not an interesting research problem of any sort, and that Google will never want to try to tackle this. So much for all the discussion on an Ubuntu-based google OS, and all the stories and noise on slashdot, digg, et al.
There were some other interesting things he said, including something about an upcoming google “product”. The google seismograph, which he said might go public this weekend or so, gives a graph of the number of searches for “earthquake” against time, and that shows a spike around the time of the earthquake. He showed an example graph, and said that among the possibilities, it might be possible to locate the epicenter given the IP addresses of where the searches originated from.
He fielded some questions about working at google and lots of other stuff. Remarkably, he said spammers are the “most incredibly talented” (or was it ingenuous – well you get the idea) group of people he’s ever known. Ah, all that can, I am sure, fit into another post. For now, real life beckons, and I have a group meeting in about 10 minutes.