While Apple’s Mavericks update might be free it is not open source and people still need expensive hardware to use the OS, he said. “The fact that Apple gives the OS away is completely irrelevant,” Torvalds said. “I don’t think that it impacts Linux at all.”
Torvalds is not thinking of retiring at all, he told the audience when asked what needed to happen for him to retire. “It needs to get not interesting and that hasn’t happened yet,” he said. But he would probably stop if he gets the feeling that he can’t code anymore or the doctor tells him to quit.
While Torvalds doesn’t tend to do a lot of programming these days, he still likes what he does, he said. “People just know who I am,” he said. And while developers according to Torvalds can have “the attention span of slightly moronic woodland creatures” he likes to be responsive to developers and maintainers of the kernel who reach out to him. Nevertheless, he said, part of his role is to be able to say, “No, this is not how we do things.”