I think they do love open source despite not being so themselves. I heard that they used to use Linux on all of their machines, they have (most of) Android open sourced, their webm format is fully(?) open-sourced, they have hosted/sponsored open source coding events, etc. While Google is undoubtedly a truly awful company if you’re looking for any user privacy, aside from that it would be a generally unwise business decision being one of the largest tech companies to make their biggest assets fully open source, and I can’t really blame them on (only) that front.

[/edit] If I recall correctly Discord, Microsoft, and Facebook have all taken the stance of “loving open source” despite all offering blatantly surveilling and entirely closed-source products. Interesting business choice for sure.

Have an amazing rest of your day!

I disagree.

I do not think the reason google is using linux is that they love free software. I think, rather, linux is just useful for them. Android (which wasn’t started by google but that’s another story) would be MUCH more difficult if they had to develop also the kernel from scratch. So linux saves simply money here.

And think about it: Google is a service company. I.e. it provides many free services (youtube, gmail, etc.). So their reputation matters very much. And doing the google summer of code is a strategic way of increasing the reputation of google. like, how else could you make google popular in the free software scene if not sponsoring devs?

Also security research. Googles security team (“Google project zero”) publishes many security vulnerabilities. Of course, this is great and many of the found vulnerabilities also secures googles services.

But also two things: a) it damages the reputation of other big companies, because their security is often bad b) good reputation.

It is very simple but also very effective advertisement. Much better as running ads on the TV, because it also catches the people knowing that TV ads are manipulative. And they are, because they often have not really something positive as core value. But here, in both of these cases (security research and sponsoring free software) IS undoubtly positive. So it also catches people who are always sceptical of ads in the TV.

That’s a fair point, but I mean if they promote open source because it’s useful for them, it’s good advertising, everyone else loves it, and it allows for things to be more secure, is it too much of a stretch to believe they actually love free software? it’s no secret that free software is generally better in every way anyways. Also I would like to mention that their “new” operating system built from the ground up is also open source FWIW.

believe they actually love free software?

of course i do believe that. Its gratis software, that works very well. i guess google pays much less compared to buying properitary software.

And they can even modify it to their own liking.

Yeah I really think they generally care about open source, but keep their main closed source software. they’ve done more than most of the other companies you mentioned.


To me it is clear that Google really really loves open source since many years. Apparently they use (or used ?) Linux on their office workstations and they do a lot with open source, and sponsoring e.g. Google Summer of Code projects. Google made webm video format open source, and started to convert Youtube videos to use that (So, we got rid of Flash, yayyyy!). Microsoft and Discord loving open source sounds weird but it doesn’t sound incredibly misguided to me. I believe Facebook also has a github account ;-)

Open source is hot nowadays !

Googles summer of code was awesome this year, they included a couple of MD programs that I would have loved to play with. In the southern hemisphere though so it would have crossed over with school (and two other projects). Google is surprisingly really into open source

Well, they do love using open source…


Discord ❤️ open source too, lol.


They use open source as they see fit and that is the problem. They never read the book.


A mocking page might be deserved: “closed software <3 open source”
#openwashing + economical benefits from their side

(btw. I still remember Stallman at FOSDEM several years ago claiming the “free software philosophy” is a mixture of communist, anarchist and capitalist ideas)

[disclosure: here a F/LOSS advocate]


Microsoft’s is a close second:

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