Facebook has poached Matt Papakipos, the lead engineer behind Google's important Chrome Operating System initiative. Could Facebook have cloud operating system designs of its own? Less clear is how this loss will impact Chrome OS, which is still on track to roll out on netbooks from HP, Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Dell beginning this fall.
Facebook has poached Matt Papakipos, the lead engineer behind Google's
important Chrome Operating System initiative.
Papakipos, who last November introduced
Chrome OS as a fast-loading cloud operating system
for netbooks, announced
the move in a tweet on Twitter June 28:
"Now that Chrome OS & WebGL are in good shape, it's time for
something new. I'm going to work @ Facebook!"
Google commented: "Matt made great contributions to Google, and we know
he'll do the same in his next endeavors. We wish him the best."
How this loss will impact Chrome OS, which is still on track to roll out on
netbooks from HP, Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Dell beginning this fall
, is unclear.
Google should be careful well-wishing employees leaving for Facebook, which
has become Google's greatest threat on the Web and has lured an alarming number
of ex-Google executives and engineers.
This includes former Google rock stars such as online ad executive Sheryl Sandberg
and, more recently, senior
Android manager Erick Tseng, who introduced
Google's Nexus One in January.
Facebook, which also lured Jocelyn Goldfein, a vice president and general
manager of VMware's desktop business unit, was excited about the hires in a
statement to eWEEK:
"We've landed two accomplished, senior people to join the Facebook
engineering team-Matthew Papakipos and Jocelyn Goldfein. Both are about as
accomplished as they come and we can't wait for them to hit the ground running
as key players on the team."
Facebook declined to say what Papakipos and Goldfein will be playing at, or
whether they will be on the same product team.
But given the expertise of both, it may not be a stretch to say Facebook has
some cloud operating system and virtualization designs of its own.
Unlike Google, which creates new products to expand its presence
horizontally across the Web, the cloud operating system would be created within
the social context of Facebook.
Everything that company has done to date has been to add more functionality
to a network that appeals to nearly 500 million users.
In the background of all this is the increased rivalry between Google, which
is trying to duplicate its rival's success in building a social network
people want to use every day, and
Facebook, which is adding
more search functionality.