kOoLiNuS was the first, or, at least, his post was the first I read about it: Google Earth is released in a new version – featuring a Linux client!
That’s just awesome! Thank you, Google Guys 😀
In my opinion that is the first real step from Google to show that they are supporting Linux in real – the release of Picasa is something I never understood and I probably will never understand. There are plenty of featurefull and perfectly integrated photo management tools available for Linux, so Picasa is not really interesting for the majority, and it will have a hard time against f-photo and digikam (not to mention all the others).
But Google Earth has no (real) competitor on the Linux desktop. Yes, I now the World Wind client, but I never managed to get it working, and I was not the only one; it’s not easy to set up, and does not come with such a community as Google Earth.
One word about why it was possible to release Google Earth under Linux: it is not supported by wine, but is programmed in Qt3 – that means it is comparable easy to port it from Windows to MacOS to Linux and back. And that brought us now the Linux client (probably as well as the multibinary for MacOS).
In the meantime, besides Google Earth: AOL released a software development kit to develop AIM/ICQ compatible clients. Unfortunately the SDK can only be used to develop clients which are not multi-protocol, but nevertheless this is a nice step and will probably help to bring better ICQ support to Linux.