"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
"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."