Linus Torvalds wins the tech. equivalent of a Nobel Prize: the Millennium Technology Prize.

Linus Torvalds wins the tech. equivalent of a Nobel Prize: the Millennium Technology Prize.

Summary: Linux Creator's Linus Torvalds is one of two laureates for the Millennium Technology Prize. This award is close as technology has to a Nobel Prize.

SHARE:

Linus Torvalds, Linux s creator, has won technology's highest award.

Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, has won technology's highest award.

You can win Nobel prizes for physics, chemistry, and medicine, but technology? No. There is, however the Millennium Technology Prize. This is the world's largest technology prize. It is rewarded ever two years for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life, today and in the future. This year, Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, maker of a new way to create stem cells without the use of embryonic stem cells, are both laureates for the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize.

This prize, which is determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world’s largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology. The two innovators will share over a million Euros. The final winner will be announced by the President of the Republic of Finland in a special ceremony on June 13, 2012.

Gallery: The 20 most significant events in Linux's 20-year history

Previous winners include Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web; Professor Robert Langer for his invention and development of innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration; and Professor Michael Gratzel for his innovative developments in dye-sensitized solar cells.

“The Millennium Technology Prize is like the Nobel Peace Prize of technology,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “Linus Torvalds embodies the innovation and collaborative spirit that this award stands for, and we congratulate him on this tremendous honor.”

In response to the reward, Linus said, “Software is too important in the modern world not to be developed through open source. The real impact of Linux is as a way to allow people and companies to build on top of it to do their own thing. We’re finally getting to the point where “data is just data”, and we don’t have all these insane special communications channels for different forms of data.”

Is it deserved? Well, judge for yourself. Since Torvalds created Linux in 1991, it has become the world’s most ubiquitous operating system it powers the popular Android phones and eight out of 10 financial trades; it runs Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and other major web networks. It is the dominant OS for supercomputers, supporting nine of 10 of these major systems, and is the preferable platform for cloud computing. Yes, I think we can safely say this award was richly deserved.

Congratulations Linus!

Related Stories:

Twenty Years of Linux according to Linus Torvalds 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

Topics: Operating Systems, Linux, Open Source, Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

40 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • How much money has Linus made from Linux?

    "The two innovators will share over a million Euros."

    I'm just curious if this will turn out to be the lion's share of profits that Linus will recoup for the blood, sweat, and tears he has poured into Linux.

    "Congratulations Linus!"

    Agree 100%. The world is a better place because of Linux on the server and Linux embedded into devices.
    toddbottom3
    • Don't tell me

      Are you one those completely uninformed people that thinks programmers, sys admins, companies, etc. can't make money with open source?
      Tell that to $1B+/year Redhat.
      As for Linus, I am sure he gets paid very well for programming, speaking and teaching. Far more than you earn, I'd bet.
      anothercanuck
  • Linus Torvalds wins the tech. equivalent of a Nobel Prize: the Millennium T

    Just goes to show anyone can win one of these awards. The Millennium Technology Prize just lost all credibility if they are giving one to Linus Torvalds. I can't think of a single reason why he would deserve it.

    [i]It is rewarded every two years for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life, today and in the future.[/i]
    Ok, so where does Linus Torvalds and linux fit into this? Neither has met the requirements for the award. There is nothing innovative about linux, its just a hacked up clone of another OS. If anything, linux has done just the opposite and made people more frustrated instead of improving quality of life. I know for a fact it has not improved my life.

    Someone paid off off the election committee, most likely the linux foundation. I'm calling for an investigation into this because this just can't be right.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • you are such a baaaaad troll

      even a 10 year old could do better, get back to flipping burgers with your mouth shut
      deaf_e_kate
      • Since I'm not a troll at all

        then I guess a burger flipper could do it better. But why of all professions you chose burger flipper to associate with trolls is beyond me.
        Loverock Davidson-
    • Hey

      Hey, and if Linux hasn't improved your life (in ways that are painfully obvious to you) then clearly it hasn't improved anyone's life.
      dsf3g
      • It hasn't

        I can tell you quite clearly linux has not improved my life.
        Loverock Davidson-
      • dsf3g

        if christianity hasnot improved the life of athetist, then it has not improved anyone's life
        rospkos.09
      • Git .A tool of aura at the time of the versioning hells.

        and its just another version control system. Right!! hardly ground-breaking ..right!! but it is something aura around it. :) it is one of technology that keep thousands of developers at github, gitorius happy and enjoy their projects. In one way, it enable and keep the spirit of the developer community.
        rospkos.09
    • Start investigation!!

      Have u heard of git? Lol.. pathetic.. Git has now the most important software right now .along with Windows 8, and Linux kernel. It is not just Linux. It is all about his software engineering abilities :) . If u r saying that Linux does not make u happy, then keep windows. Linux is just an alternative. keep this mind. Don't vent against Linux. pathetic One-dimensional, You who dont know the whole thing about the windows and Linux thing. or may be mac OS X
      rospkos.09
      • I've heard of it

        and its just another version control system. Hardly ground breaking an certainly not worthy of any awards. Much like linux its another idea that Linus stole.
        Loverock Davidson-
    • Loverock -At least do a little research before you blow off steam

      After all, Linus is a native son -
      Cynical99
      • Native

        Maybe he should be deported and go back to Finland.
        Loverock Davidson-
    • My oh my! you are in a nasty mood

      Even though I enjoy yanking people's chain, you are truly in a nasty mood! The Finns saw fit to award Linux with an award, let him have it!

      I may debate the true value of Linux, but you are just getting nasty. How about a nice sedative or relaxant. Go have a beer, or maybe a case. Even the Linux folks are entitled to their opinions.

      Such nastiness usually comes from the drones that are so insecure about their lives that they can't accept anyone else's opinion. Then again I should remember who I'm talking to! I guess complete insecurity runs in both extremes.
      Cynical99
    • Linus Torvalds wins the tech. equivalent of a Nobel Prize: the Millennium T

      For God's sake Haterock, get a life!!
      JOB83
    • Waambulance

      "I didn't get anything, so I'm going to complain instead because I am nothing in the technology world and I hate it."
      DonRupertBitByte
  • Linus Torvalds wins the Millennium Technology Prize

    Kudos to Linus Torvalds.
    daikon
  • Actually...

    ...there should be a Nobel Prize in computer science, assuming the Nobel estate generates enough money to pay for one.

    Regardless, the creator and principal maintainer of the world's most popular UNIX-like kernel deserves the honor. Congratulations to Mr. Torvalds.
    John L. Ries
  • If anyone deserves it...

    Torvalds does. Congrats, guy.
    dsf3g
  • Serial killers are rejoicing

    The man who designed an operating system which has ultimately empowered serial killers to murder thousands wins a prize? What nonsense.
    jackbond