South African open sourcerer and cosmonaut Mark Shuttleworth appears to have set off a number of rumours after letting slip that Google has developed its own version of the Ubuntu distro - Goobuntu - in an interview for SA’s Business Day. The Register picked up on that yesterday, but not everyone bought it, with Daily Tech branding it “the first urban myth of 2006″.
This was before Slashdot picked it up, where Chris DiMona - open source manager at Google - confirmed that Goobuntu was the company’s internal distro. Of course they weren’t interested in disrtributing it commercially, he said, that would distract them from their cold fusion and moon transporter projects and besides, plain old Ubuntu rocks. Someone else pointed out that there could be trouble over DRM if Ubuntu elects to adopt the new GPL v3.0, so the company may be keeping its cards close to its chest until an announcement is made on that score.
Either way, it lends yet more credibility to the wunderkind distro and will be sure to give Microsoft the heebie jeebies. Tectonic - again from SA - found some screenshots purporting to be the OS in action - it looks a bit like Vista except for the fact that it appears to work.
While we’re on the subject, Mark Shuttleworth’s Go Open Source announced a 3 million rand (about £300,000) investment to help create a Linux channel, through which small- and medium-sized businesses can get help on establishing themselves in the open source world.