LinuxWorld: Linux on desktop soon - Torvalds

Linux may be primarily server-bound now, but it soon will be much easier to use on the desktop, and even in handhelds, says its inventor.
Written by Lisa M. Bowman, Contributor

Speaking before the largest Linux gathering ever, Linus Torvalds predicted future versions of Linux will compete on both high-end systems and smaller devices - and become a major player on desktop computers.

"It means that in a few years we'll be the biggest OS on the whole planet, and I like that," Torvalds told the audience at Linuxworld Expo here. Torvalds, who invented the operating system in 1991, often quips that 'world domination' is in Linux' future. The OS has grown from one user in 1991 to more than 7 million today. "It's up there with the big boys, and the big boys are nervous," said Torvalds.

Dressed in a navy button-down shirt and black pants, Torvalds received a standing ovation when he walked on stage. Only moments earlier, a handful of fans, some of them wearing "Linus Torvalds for President" buttons, sprinted to the front of the room when the doors swung open, hoping to get a closer look at their hero.

Right now, Linux is used mainly on heavy-duty computers used as servers on networks, but Torvalds predicted desktop projects such as Gnome and KDE would help Linux take off. He also said companies such as Corel - which today outlined its plans to make Linux user friendly - would boost the OS. During his light-hearted keynote, Torvalds showed a slide predicting what his grandchildren will say about computing. Rounding out the list: "Microsoft? They used to do computers, right?"

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