Linux Foundation Says Microsoft is a Puppy

Think Windows is the big operating system in the world? In terms of the big picture, it isn't. The little operating system that just started out as a personal project for Linux Torvalds is now what really runs computing worldwide.

The desktop and laptop personal computing market is still owned by Microsoft, but the foundation on which everything else rests is Linux. The days of Linux fearing Microsoft are over. In fact, Linux has grown to the point where it almost feels sorry for Microsoft.

"I think we just don't care that much [about Microsoft] anymore," says Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin in an interview with Network World. "They used to be our big rival, but now it's kind of like kicking a puppy."

Almost 20 years ago, Linus Torvalds released his free operating system that he said would be "just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu." And now, almost two decades later, his work has shaped the IT world.

"I think that on the 20th anniversary, it's worth reflecting back on where we came from," Zemlin said. Linux had a "humble start as a project for a college student in Helsinki, to something today that runs 70% of global equity trading, something that powers, really, the majority of Internet traffic, whether it's Facebook, Google or Amazon."

Besides running big business, Linux is also the basis for new operating systems such as Android, Chrome OS and WebOS.

Of course, there is still one area that Linux can't crack. "Linux has come to dominate almost every category of computing, with the exception of the desktop," Zemlin said. "…the good news is the traditional PC desktop is becoming less important, and areas where Linux is very strong in terms of client computing are becoming more important."

Read more on Network World.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Go linux!
  • kingnoobe
    "the good news is the traditional PC desktop is becoming less important". I don't think that is true. But most of everything else he said I agree with.
  • chrone
    linux needs to improve its GUI a lot!

    -from ubuntu and fedora core 4 fans :D
  • three0duster
    Linux FTW!
  • pelov
    phone market is largely android, which is linux

    server market is certainly linux

    desktop market is still windows. But in china a large portion of PCs are shipping with linux distros or w/o windows at all, where linux is being installed as the primary OS.

    I think certain linux distros are looking to close that gap. Ubuntu is becoming easier to use and prettier to look at, all while maintaining the linux functionality.

    go linux or go home.
  • MU_Engineer
    chronelinux needs to improve its GUI a lot!-from ubuntu and fedora core 4 fans
    If you're still using FC4, I can see why you think Linux needs to improve its GUI. FC4 came out about five years ago. Current Linux distributions have pretty good UIs, good enough that MS ripped off several things from them for Windows 7. Look at the taskbar in Windows 7 for example. It looks like it came straight out of KDE.
  • anotherzen
    well, if linux could run all my programs and games, i would jump the microsoft ship in a heartbeat, but i don't even se a shimmer of light in that tunnel. But sure, when the time comes, if it ever does, ill join.
  • davewolfgang
    Until they have the support of the Graphic Card makers that will put out a good driver for their own cards and not have the community "rely" on a "hacked" driver from a 3rd party, they won't make a dent on anything the end users sits down to every single day.

    And until the game makers start releasing games that will run on Linux...but that won't happen until the above gets done first - they will still be in (at the most) a dual-boot set up because Games still run the best on Windows.
  • kristoffe
    @davewolfgang here here ++
  • theshonen8899
    I liked Linux but this is a really immature attitude this guy has. Instead of phasing out desktops, I hope Linux because a much more compelling OS for desktop use. One great way to start is Steam.