Helsinki-born Linus Torvalds, the man revered among computer users for creating the operating system Linux, is widely recognized for his enormous achievement and has obtained a guru-like status among geeks. Linus is also publicity shy but this week he gave a rare interview and steps into the limelight briefly to talk to BBC World for its weekly new media show, Click Online.
The show will be broadcasted today at 12 noon and repeated on 6th at 1600, 8th at 1300 and 9th at 1900 IST of this month.
Linux has become wildly popular. From its beginnings as a student project in Linus's Helsinki bedroom, it has swept across the world in the last decade. It now runs many business servers, and large parts of the Internet, behind the scenes… if you've used the web's most popular search engine Google, you've unknowingly used Linux.
In addition, vast numbers of programmers worldwide are working (often for free) on giving it glossy, Windows-like surfaces for all of us average computer users! Many enthusiasts praise its cheapness, reliability and its lack of structural secrecy.
In an extended, exclusive interview with Click's Chris Long, from his home in San Jose where he now lives, Linus explains why he put so much work into creating Linux... and then gave it away for free! He gives us his latest thinking on Microsoft... and most crucially, if the type of software he designed will ever challenge Microsoft's dominance of the computer desktop. "I think in the end… Microsoft will be another IBM," says Linus. "What happened to IBM is that they're not the dominant force anymore."
"To get Linus on camera adds to the line-up of heavy hitters that we've had on the show over the last year… people of the calibre of Bill Gates and Larry Ellison," says Click's Editor, David Jamieson. "For computer enthusiasts he's really one of the industry's great figureheads."