Torvalds: more delays for Linux

"It's been a slower process than many people would like," he said, remarking that developers are no longer adding new features, only fixing bugs. "With luck, we'll see it in early December, and with not so good luck, I still hope that we can do it this side of the year."

Torvalds answered questions as part of a roundtable of experts, entitled "Quo Vadis Linux?" at the Linux World Conference and Expo here.

Many die-hard fans in the audience directed their questions at Torvalds, who grinned throughout most of the event and happily received autograph seekers afterward.

Asked what he saw ahead for the operating system, Torvalds replied that the most fun in his line of work are the constant surprises. "I'm hoping that in the next three years we'll see ... people using Linux and open source in places that nobody has imagined. That's the exciting part to me."

Other panel members offered more concrete predictions.

"I believe that in three years Linux will dominate the server market and will be a very important part of the desktop market," said Dirk Hohndel, chief technology officer of SuSE. He added, "We have won the game in the server space, and we are going to move on to expand to the desktop."

Jon "Maddog" Hall, director of Linux International and moderator for the panel, weighed in that the future of Linux lies not in the desktop market, but with servers and embedded and "ubiquitious" devices -- even, eventually, machines worn on a user's wrist. "I believe we will not succeed with computers until we create one I can use as easily as this bottle opener," he said, seizing a ready prop from the table.

Some on the panel were most concerned with protecting the open source model from encroaching commercialism in years to come. "I don't believe that market share or world domination is important," said Linux developer Lukas Grunwald. What's important, he said, is the idea of free software. "I don't believe in three companies sharing the market. Monopolism is a bad idea in any form."

Many in the audience applauded Grunwald's comments, as well as those of Bodo Bauer, principal software engineer at TurboLinux, who remarked, "There's a lot of money going around, investors looking for returns, who don't understand the open source model and are trying to push the traditional [proprietary] model into Linux space. That concerns me a lot." He added, "I'm very surprised to see lots of suits around here."

Hohndel, the only member of the panel wearing a suit, said that his company is doing what it can to protect the open source model. "Our focus is on European legislation. We are investing money into lobbying against current efforts to enable software patenting in Europe ... it's basically up to all of us to explain to the lawmakers that software patents are actually an evil thing." But he added that given broad reach of US software patents, there's a limit to the effectiveness of the strategy.

Torvalds also injected a note of realism. "I don't know of anyone who has a solution to software patents." Some of the most outspoken people against software patents, he said, suffer a "big disconnect from the real world."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Perera

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?