Linus Torvalds, pictured at an unidentified Yodobashi store in Tokyo, Japan. Source: Chris Schlaeger (click to enlarge)
I was determined to not write about Windows 7 today, because any analysis I wrote would get buried in all the other news. I was going to wait to deliver my "last word" sometime next week. But then a co-worker emailed me the photo above, clearly of Linus Torvalds at the software counter at Yodobashi, a Japanese consumer electronics store in Tokyo in front of a huge display of Windows 7 boxes, giving it the international sign of recognition: Thumbs Up. I HAD to post that.
Of course, if you happen to be Japanese, the custom is to make the "V" sign rather than a "Thumbs Up" when you are being photographed, but I won't criticize Linus for his trivial knowledge gap.
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However, what I do think is significant here is that Linus has a sense of humor, and has no interest in being caught up in the Free Software nonsense where one of the major sticking points in their ideology is a hatred of "Unethical" software companies in which Microsoft is the poster child -- and in utter contempt and protest the products they release, which includes a recently started campaign against the "Sins" of Windows 7.
Do I actually believe Linus was endorsing Windows 7? No, he was in town for the Japan Linux Symposium. But it shows he has a clear sense of humor, understands tolerance, and knows how to lighten up when his Free Software counterparts are frothing at the mouth during one of the most important software launch days in Microsoft's history.
So is Linus Torvalds the latest entry on the Free Software Foundation's and Richard Stallman's "Traitors" list for daring to appear in front of a pile of Windows 7 boxes without lighting them on fire first? Talk Back and Let Me Know.