Linux Exec: Competing Against Microsoft Is Like “Kicking a Puppy”

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Depending who you ask, you’ll get a different answer about who’s winning the operating system wars. Of course, the Linux people think they’ve won, but here’s the thing–they may be right.

Speaking to Network World, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin asserts that the beloved open-source OS has already beaten Microsoft and Windows when it comes to adoption and implementation. Zemlin says, “I think we just don’t care that much [about Microsoft] anymore. They used to be our big rival, but now it’s kind of like kicking a puppy.” He adds that Linux code runs 70% of global equity trading and claims that it also powers the majority of Internet traffic through sites that use it, like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The article goes on to say:

Linux can be found in consumer electronics devices, like Sony televisions and camcorders, the Amazon Kindle, and in smartphones and tablets as part of Google’s Android. Linux leads the market from the tiniest embedded systems to the largest supercomputers, with more than 90% of the Top 500 supercomputing sites in the world running Linux.

Nevertheless, the one place that Linux isn’t a big dog is on consumer desktops. ‘Puppy’ Microsoft owns a near-monopoly market share, with Apple making gains–and when it coms to Apple, Zemlin’s a bit kinder. Zemlin calls the Cupertino company “your worst enemy and your best friend if you’re an open source guy.” The exec expresses admiration for how Apple works with open source but posits that desktop OSes won’t be as important to people as cloud computing becomes more prevalent.

Linux celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, so no matter who you pledge your OS allegiance to, it’s worth tipping your hat to scrappy indie coder Linus Torvalds and the way that his work’s managed to change the very notion of proprietary technology.