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Linus Torvalds to do live Internet Chat tomorrow

Feb 08, 1999, 11:27 (5 Talkback[s])

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Thanks to Gary Krakow for this link.

by Gary Krakow, MSNBC Feature Writer

Live chat with Microsoft-killer Linus Torvalds on MSNBC Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Here's a little on Linus (who on the Net ranks as a one-name star, like Michael (Jordan), or Bill (Gates):

Who is the man behind the what is perhaps the biggest threat to the biggest company in the world? Linus Torvalds, a 29-year-old Finnish programmer who created a new computer operating system as a hobby. Linux, which is free, is the first genuine alternative to Microsoft Windows since the Macintosh. But this threat is real -- it has support from heavyweights like Intel, Oracle, Sun, Compaq, and even Microsoft' pal Michael Dell.

Torvalds, who still personally controls Linux, has since moved to Silicon Valley, where he works for a mysterious company named Transmeta. The three-year-old start-up, which is backed in part by money from Paul Allen, has yet to make a product and won't say what it's up to. But rumors suggest the company is fashioning a new kind of processor designed to take on Intel.

Linus is the patron saint of "anti-Microsoft" forces in the computer industry - a regular programmer David who has taken on Goliath, and is holding his own. Microsoft now regularly cites Linux is its anti-trust trial as evidence of real competition, and has repeatedly warned analysts about the threat to the Redmond-giant's core business. Torvalds is also a cult hero on the Internet - a search at the AltaVista search engine reveals 10,000 Web pages mention his name. That's well more than Oracle's Larry Ellison (8,000) and Sun's Scott McNealy (5,500).