Heute ist die Zukunft von gestern XIX: Linus Torvalds über Linux, Windows, Mac OS (1998)

3. März 2015

Linus Torvalds, der 1993 als Student das Linux-Kernel-Projekt angestoßen hat, gab dem Computermagazin BOOT im Sommer 1998 ein vielbeachtetes Interview, in dem er sich zur Zukunft von Linux, Windows und Mac OS geäußert hat.

Torvalds (1998) über die Entstehung von Linux

»It was really only meant to be my own personal system. And if it had continued that way, Linux would have just stopped being after a year because it would have reached my own personal needs. […] That’s really where the Internet kind of came in. Even very early when there weren’t people actually helping with Linux development, there were people who commented ›Hey, this doesn’t do what I need.‹ […] In a few months I had hundreds of users […]. They found bugs that I hadn’t because I hadn’t been using the way they were. And they added motivation. After a few months they started sending in patches. […] after awhile some of them knew parts of the system so well that they started sending me fixes or improvements. And again, this wasn’t planned—it just happened.«

… über Windows

»What’s fundamentally wrong is that nobody ever had any taste when they did it. Microsoft has been very much into making the user interface look good, but internally it’s just a complete mess. And even people who program for Microsoft and who have had years of experience, just don’t know how it works internally. Worse, nobody dares change it. Nobody dares to fix bugs because it’s such a mess that fixing one bug might just break a hundred programs that depend on that bug. And Microsoft isn’t interested in anyone fixing bugs — they’re interested in making money. […] People inside Microsoft know it’s a bad operating system and they still continue obviously working on it because they want to get the next version out because they want to have all these new features to sell more copies of the system.«

… über die Ablösung von Windows durch Linux

»It won’t take over 100% of the market, but that’s okay too, because when you don’t have one major entity that owns most of the market, it’s a much saner, competitive environment. I think that’ll happen, regardless of Linux. But it will happen eventually. […] It’ll start happening in a few years and I think it will have finalized by 2010 or 2015. That’s what happened to IBM. They used to be completely dominant and in five years essentially, they lost it. That will happen to Microsoft, but whether it happens in five years or in fifteen years, who knows?«

… über das Ende von Mac OS

»You can also die a slower death, just keeping at the five-percent level for several years and just going the way MacOS eventually did. OS/2 was killed by bad management, and the MacOS was too tightly tied to certain platforms that were not economically viable anymore. […] I think it will be completely gone in five years and I think it will be a really small niche market in two.«