I've previously speculated whether those running the mega-datacenters that deliver more and more of our applications--especially in the consumer space--might not also increasingly write their own platform software and construct their own hardware. In the general case, the jury is still out. And there are some counterexamples. For instance, Yahoo has largely shifted from running a FreeBSD variant that it supported internally to the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.
But, however the general trend plays out, it's clear that Google is increasingly going its own way. It already extensively customizes Linux and other open-source software for its … Read more