New Linux in Autumn, says Torvalds

Release date for open source kernel confirmed

The next major release of the Linux kernel will be made available this autumn, promises father of the open source operating system, Linus Torvalds.

Speaking at a trade show in San Jose, California, Torvalds told the Washington Post that the next version will offer compatibility advantages with high-end and multi-processor computers over the current kernel 2.2. The new version will be the first major update for 16 months and will arrive months later than originally intended.

Unlike Microsoft's Windows operating system, Linux is a free and released under the GNU public licence (GPL) meaning that the source code is publicly available. It is seen as both a successful high server system and an increasingly threatening desktop alternative to the dominant Windows platform.

Torvalds, who works for microprocessor start-up Transmeta, told the Washington Post that the new kernel compares "really well" with other operating systems in benchmark tests.

Research from Internet monitoring company Netcraft produced in May, showed that Linux powered 30 percent of all public Web sites at that time. Another study produced by IDC this month gives Linux 4.1 percent desktop operating system market share but predicts consistent growth in this area.

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