Today marks the end of an era for SCO, the embattled company whose officers thought that they owned the full rights to the UNIX code, is no more. Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, purchased the company for just over $4 million. The company will be renamed to Linsco to reflect its new ownership and new direction. I interviewed Linus via Skype yesterday afternoon about this purchase. The transcript of that conversation, in its entirety, is below.
KH: Hello, Linus, it's great to talk with you on such an auspicious occasion. You bought SCO!
LT: Thanks, Ken. It's nice to meet you too, virtually speaking that is. I follow your columns and writings quite closely.
KH: Yikes, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
LT: (Laughs) It's mostly good. You have an interesting perspective on things, for sure.
KH: Thanks, I think. (Laughs) So, what in the world compelled you to purchase SCO?
LT: Well, it makes sense really, if you consider all that's going on in the market and with Linux itself.
KH: How so?
LT: Purchasing SCO will allow all businesses to be assured that their use of Linux is safe and protected by me and The Linux Foundation.
KH: I see. What about all of the potential lawsuits from Microsoft and the partnerships that have formed with Novell and Red Hat?
LT: Yes, Microsoft says that it holds the patents to many of the Internet Protocol and other technologies that are included in the Linux kernel and other associated applications.
KH: Do they? I mean, is this a real threat or just posturing?
LT: That's a good question. They have yet to produce proof of this ownership.
KH: I guess we can leave that for another interview. What are you going to do with SCO, sorry, I mean, Linsco?
LT: It will be used as a research and development facility for creating what I'm now calling, Super Linux.
KH: Super Linux? That sounds interesting. Is this the first time you've talked about it?
LT: Publicly, yes. Super Linux is a single kernel that will sense and run on any processor or platform from mainframe to wristwatch. It is self-tweaking and self-optimizing.
KH: Wow. Wristwatch?
LT: Yes, you know, the ARM processor.
KH: Oh, sure. I see. How will the employees at Linsco, assuming you have any, get paid?
LT: From the sale of Linux licenses.
KH: But I thought it was free?
LT: Yes, it is or was. I'm quite tired of giving away my work for free, especially when I see the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs as billionaires all received through the purchase of their operating systems.
KH: That's quite a departure for you. What do you think the Linux Community will say to this?
LT: I don't really care. I'm Linus Torvalds. I created Linux. I can do as I want. And, I want to be rich.
KH: I can't blame you for that. You've certainly been at work for sometime on this.
LT: Yes, I think monetizing Linux will also help boost the economy.
KH: How so?
LT: Well, my personal economy. (Laughs).
KH: Ha, yeah. Gosh, Linus, you've given us a lot to think about with your purchase of SCO, renaming it to Linsco, Super Linux and the monetization of Linux. I don't know what to say.
LT: It's a lot to take in all at once. My phone has rung off the hook but I took your call because of your large and dedicated audience.
KH: Thanks, Linus. I appreciate it. What's next for you?
LT: (Laughs) What else should there be? I'll tell you this, I'm looking at purchasing MySQL from Sun and joining in partnership with Monty Widenius in a new appliance market.
KH: You never cease to amaze me. Thanks for the interview and I hope to hear from you again soon. Good Luck with the new ventures.
LT: Thank you, Ken. Please, now that you have my personal email address and cell phone number, don't hesitate to call on me for information at any time.
KH: Thanks, Linus. I hear your other phone ringing. Talk to you soon.
My heart is still pounding from this once-in-a-lifetime exclusive interview with Linus Torvalds. All I can say is, "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy."
What do you think of the news about SCO, Linsco, Super Linux and Linus' proposal to monetize Linux? Write back and let us know.