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Washington Post: A Future When PCs Become Passe...

Nov 19, 1999, 15:21 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Streitfeld)

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"Technology, to some degree, is not driving the market anymore," said Linus Torvalds, the creator of the "open source" operating system Linux. "It's what people want. . . . Convenience and price are the real driving factors."

"Torvalds, the former Finnish student who rivals Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as a high-tech cult figure, is his own best example. Linux, the first operating system to become a true competitor to Microsoft's Windows, barely existed at Comdex two years ago. This year the Linux Business Expo received nearly equal billing to the Comdex floor show itself...."

"During the Q&A period--something Gates didn't permit during his own session--Torvalds was asked the unthinkable. What if Microsoft were to co-opt Linux by offering its own version of it?"

"It's not only possible, but it's legal, and I encourage them to do it," said Torvalds."

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