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20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come


San Francisco–Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, speaking from a wheelchair, opened the 2011 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. This meeting Zemlin said, was for the “leaders of Linux.”

The leaders of Linux aren’t ready to declare victory over Microsoft, Zemlin told me before the presentation, but “We’re beyond the obsession with Microsoft.”

In his presentation, Zemlin amply demonstrated why Linux vendors, developers and users are looking far beyond Microsoft. Zemlin who had had a nasty ski accident, opened his presentation with a clever video celebrating 20-years of Linux history.

From there, Zemlin pointed out that Linux runs everything from air traffic control systems to infotainment systems to nuclear submarines. Linux also powers the $10-billion CERN super collider, the special effects in Avatar. Zemlin also pointed out that Linux-powered stock markets now trade “72% of the world’s equity trades in 2010.” This, I might add, was before the London Stock Exchange went to Linux earlier this year. And of course, there’s been a “complete inversion” in supercomputing. In ten years, the top 500 supercomputers have switched from 96% Unix to 96% Linux.

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