20 years ago Thursday, a student named Linus Torvalds announced he was going to be creating a new operating system which he intended to displace Microsoft Windows. Torvalds described Linux as “just a hobby, won’t be big and professional.”
Today, we’ve seen Linux being used in most every mid to large-sized company around the world (including Microsoft), and runs the majority of smartphones, TVs, ATMs, navigation systems, game platforms and much more.
Linux is licensed under the GPL, which gives everyone the right to use it and allows no one ownership of of the software. And its a big piece of software. Linux contains 14 million lines of software and is protected by more than 520,000 patents, according to a Linux Foundation report. Governments and businesses alike enjoy the system’s flexibility and decentralized nature.
Linux is bound to grow, but with people’s love of their desktop computers, it’ll be a long time before Linux threatens Microsoft’s dominance on the desktop.
- Linus’ First Linux Post, 20 Years Ago Today (linux.slashdot.org)
- At 20, Linux is invisible, ubiquitous (cnn.com)