When Linus Torvalds channeled Howard Cosell

Sure, Linus Torvalds has a big mouth but unlike most of the empty suits who grab headlines by popping off, he backs it up.

I've always admired Linus Torvalds, as much for his accomplishments as for his moxie. Sure, the guy has a big mouth but unlike most of the empty suits who grab headlines by popping off, he backs it up.

To wit, check out excerpts from the interview he granted to the Sydney Morning Herald.

• "To Microsoft and Apple the o/s is important as a way to control the whole environment, from a marketing and money-making standpoint, to force people to upgrade their applications, and your hardware."

• "Their file system is complete and utter crap, which is scary. I think OS X is nicer than Windows in many ways, but neither can hold a candle to my own (Linux). It's a race to second."

• "Google used to have their own version of the kernel and they didn't push it out because it was very specialized to what they did, pushing it out didn't even make sense. They did hacks and ugly things that they would not be proud of pushing out. But they have been very active now as far as the kernel is concerned. One nice thing about people going to Google is that it doesn't sell a particular version of any (operating system or software). So it has not led to any teeth-gnashing over competition. It has a lot of engineers doing open source, without ugly (consequences)."

It's a slow Tuesday and I'd love to pick a fight, but what's there to argue about here? And that's what's always been appealing about Torvalds. He tells it like it is.

I've said this on other occasions, and it's still true: when it comes to the uttering of most tech notables, truth-in-advertising is that rarest of commodities. Most of the time, they opt for the sort of PR-scripted mush that nobody in their right minds would ever say, sans frontal lobotomy.

Happily, Sir Linus of Torvalds is still a long way from going corporate.

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About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.

 

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