PIcasa on Linux, so far

by Doc Searls

Last week in New York, I shared a cab with a friend who works for Google. He was the guy who, with permission from his company, gave me a scoop that had to stay embargoed until 8pm Pacific time tonight (Thursday, as I write this), while I was out having an anniversary dinner with my wife.

What the hell, scoops are over-rated anyway. News is news. In this case, news that Google has released Picasa, its photo editing and organizing software, on Linux. That's before they release it on Apple (if they ever do). I believe this is a first.

Picasa began as the product of a Pasadena, California company by the same name. That company was founded in October, 2001. Google bought the company in May, 2004.

Migration was done with Wine. (Details here.) While not every feature in the original Windows version is implemented, most are, and more are planned. Among the current features is the ability to detect and interact with an attached camera, which is a cool thing.

I recorded a long conversation earlier today with Chris DiBona, the open source program manager at Google. But it's late and I don't have time to go back over it right now. Suffice to say that Chris says Picasa on Linux is way cool. Judging from responses on Digg and other places, Chris isn't alone.

As of 11:50pm, less than four hours since the news hit, Google Blogsearch finds 2121 posts that mention Picasa and Linux. Technorati finds 1928. Those are just benchmarks. It'll be interesting to see how those numbers grow over the next several days.

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