BOO! Linus Torvalds Says Linux Ain’t Afraid of No Free Apple OS X Mavericks

Some of the reactions to Apple's decision to make OS X 10.9 Mavericks a free upgrade have been a little over the top, especially in relation to Windows, which we think will be just fine in this so-called "new era," as the Cupertino company calls it. However, if we're talking about free software, Linux certainly needs to be in the discussion.

During a question and answer session at LinuxCon Europe in Edinburg on Wednesday, Linus Torvalds pointed out that Linux has been free for over two decades," NetworkWorld reports. However, Apple's move into pro bono territory isn't the same as the philosophy behind Linux, he says. It's one of the reasons why he uses the term "open source" rather than "free software."

Linus Torvalds

"The fact that Apple gives the OS away is completely irrelevant. I don't think it impacts Linux at all," Torvalds said.

His point is that being open and being free are two completely different things. It's the reason he feels confidant Linux will thrive even if something tragic happened to him, like being hit by a bus, or less tragic, like deciding to retire. With or without him, "Linux will keep on evolving and improving in the same way," Torvalds said.

Linux has a less than 2 percent share of the overall desktop OS market, though if you extend the category to mobile devices and include Android in the mix, Linux jumps ahead of the competition, including both iOS and Windows.