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FreeOS.com: Interview: Torvalds unplugged

Nov 16, 2000, 09:13 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Prakash Advani)

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"Linus Torvalds, at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo held in August at San Jose, took some time off to sit down for an informal Q session. Prakash Advani, CEO of FreeOS.com, was there as Linus talked about the future of Linux and his views about other operating systems." Q - Which commercial company is doing the most for Linux?"

"I have such a hard time judging that. Most of them tend to be in fairly different markets. I think that there is a lot of power in just numbers. That's what made Windows such an attractive platform. It wasn't Microsoft. It was the fact that there were hundreds - thousands of companies supporting it. I think that it would be wrong to single out any Linux company."

"Q - Today most of the IT companies are embracing Linux. Are they giving back enough to the community?"

"People expect other people to be nice and take care of things. I don't think that it's true and I don't think it should be. The power of Linux is that even if nobody else helps you an inch of the way, then you still have your copy of Linux, you still have the power to do whatever you want. That's important. In that sense, even if a commercial company were to give back nothing at all, it would not be a loss for Linux. Even with a company like Dell which doesn't do any Linux development, just the fact that they are there, supporting Linux, helps. Just the PR value of it is great. Also as Michael [Dell] mentioned, it's fairly important to have big hardware manufacturers that are known to support you. Dell and IBM have been very good at causing other hardware manufacturers to make sure they have drivers for Linux. So I'm fairly positive."

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