The Linux 2

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-08-03 Print this article Print

.6 Kernel"> Also addressing the audience was Andrew Morton, the maintainer of the Linux 2.6 kernel, who talked about the commoditization of open-source software. Free software brings enhanced transparency to both ISVs and end users, he said, stressing that it is not just Linus Torvalds, who started the Linux kernel, and Morton making all the decisions around the kernel.
Many of the different groups working on various components all have a say, and decisions are mostly the result of consensus among them all, he said.
While there is a tension between simplicity and enterprise-rich functionality needed, this is largely a technical issue that is being worked through, he said. Turning to the Linux desktop, Morton said for some six years now people had been saying the next year would be the year of the desktop. "But we are not quite there yet … Linux is not ready for those information workers who are known as power users. I think free software on the desktop will grow from the bottom up," he said. "Eventually companies will find it makes sense to address the most sophisticated power users and we will see the commoditization of the desktop. "Please dont take this to mean our desktop software will be junk and we will expect big companies to fix it for us. That is not the case. We have made great strides on that front, but we are not there for the power user as yet," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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