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Business 2.0: Who Could Replace Linus Torvalds?

Oct 31, 2000, 13:19 (15 Talkback[s])

"So are the rumors true? Is Alan Cox the heir apparent to famed Linux creator Linus Torvalds? To find out, we asked Eric Raymond -- coder, author, cheerleader for the open-source software movement. He answered with a gnomish scowl. 'You are beginning to irritate me,' he says. Why so? 'Because, like other journalists, you are focused on failure.'"

"The focus, actually, is not on failure, but on a question of succession: What happens under the eminently plausible scenario wherein Torvalds, widely regarded as the 'benevolent dictator' of the Linux operating system, and synonymous with the Linux project in the public mind, decides to quit? Or retires to a desert isle? Or gets sick? Or gets hit by a bus?"

"It's a crucial question, if only because Linux has emerged as a serious competitor to Microsoft, grabbing 23 percent of the market for server operating systems last year, according to IDC. While Linux poses little threat to Microsoft on the desktop, it is gaining ground as an operating system geared for wireless devices and Internet appliances-products the computer industry has marked for explosive growth."

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