Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Receives $1.3 Million Technology Prize

Linus Torvalds
[Image Credit: Millennium Prize]
Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, has received the $1.3 million Finland Millennium Technology Prize. “Open source only really works if everybody is contributing for their own selfish reasons,” stated Torvalds in an interview with the BBC. Torvalds will be sharing the prize with Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka.

“Linus Torvalds’s work has kept the web open for the pursuit of knowledge and for the benefit of humanity – not simply for financial interests,” stated Ainomaija Haarla, the President of Technology Academy Finland.

“The early ‘selfish’ reasons to do Linux tended to be centered about just the pleasure of tinkering,” added Torvalds in an interview with BBC. “That was why I did it – programming was my hobby – passion, really – and learning how to control the hardware was my own selfish goal. And it turned out that I was not all that alone in that.”

Linux currently has over 1.5 million lines of code contributed by over 1,300 paid and volunteer developers. Now Linux is used on servers, smartphones, PCs, and tablets. Previous winners of the Finland Millennium Technology Prize include Tim Berners Lee, Robert Langer, Michael Grätzel, and Shuji Nakamura. This is the fourth time that the prize has been given out since the inauguration of the prize in 2004.

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