Google converting software to Open Source?

Google

Google - our Hero!!!

Google always does something to ensure it stays on the front page!!! Most of the times this appeals to users , sometimes not!!! But this time they have certainly succeeded in amassing goodwill (especially among the programming/open source community)

How did they do this? – Google bought reMail in mid february. reMail is application for the iPhone which allows the user to download his/her mail to the iphone and thus make all mail available offline! This app gained a lot of popularity because accessing mails became faster, cheaper and quicker!

Google first did something really funny by killing reMail (removing it from the app store). This did not affect those who had already bought the app (as it requires only the iPhone and has no server).

They brought it back 2 days ago… How does this earn goodwill u ask me??? They brought it back alright but now its open source. Yup you read it right. Google bought reMail and gave the code to the world.

Here’s what Founder(of reMail) Gabor Cselle had to day about this

As someone who is passionate about mobile email, my hope is that developers interested in making email-related apps can use reMail code as a starting point. Part of the reason email apps are hard is because you have to pay the tax of figuring out how to download email via IMAP, parse MIME messages, handle attachments, and store data. reMail has already solved these problems. If you have a great mobile email idea, I hope you will find reMail’s source code helpful in your quest.

We know that Google never does anything if it doesn’t benefit from it, but I’m seriously clueless as to how this helps them! They did something very similar to this last year, Google acquired etherpad as it was going to shutdown and made the technology open source too.

Thats twice now.  Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope to god that this continues!

Whether this is good for Google I don’t know, but I do know that the open source community has something to rejoice about! Lets hope they keep this up and convert more such technology to Open Source

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