Linus Torvalds : Linux Founder Gets Awarded The Millennium Technology Prize

 

You can win Nobel prizes for physics, chemistry, and medicine, but technology? No. There is, however the Millennium Technology Prize. This is the world’s largest technology prize. It is rewarded ever two years for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life, today and in the future. This year, Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, maker of a new way to create stem cells without the use of embryonic stem cells, are both laureates for the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize.

This prize, which is determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world’s largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology. The two innovators will share over a million Euros. The final winner will be announced by the President of the Republic of Finland in a special ceremony on June 13, 2012.

Previous winners include Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web; Professor Robert Langer for his invention and development of innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration; and Professor Michael Gratzel for his innovative developments in dye-sensitized solar cells.

“The Millennium Technology Prize is like the Nobel Peace Prize of technology,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “Linus Torvalds embodies the innovation and collaborative spirit that this award stands for, and we congratulate him on this tremendous honor.”

In response to the reward, Linus said, “Software is too important in the modern world not to be developed through open source. The real impact of Linux is as a way to allow people and companies to build on top of it to do their own thing. We’re finally getting to the point where “data is just data”, and we don’t have all these insane special communications channels for different forms of data.”

Is it deserved? Well, judge for yourself. Since Torvalds created Linux in 1991, it has become the world’s most ubiquitous operating system it powers the popular Android phones and eight out of 10 financial trades; it runs Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and other major web networks. It is the dominant OS for supercomputers, supporting nine of 10 of these major systems, and is the preferable platform for cloud computing. Yes, I think we can safely say this award was richly deserved.

 

In recognition of his creation of a new open source operating system for computers leading to the widely used Linux kernel. The free availability of Linux on the Web swiftly caused a chain-reaction leading to further development and fine-tuning worth the equivalent of 73,000 man-years. Today millions use computers, smartphones and digital video recorders like Tivo run on Linux. Linus Torvald’s achievements have had a great impact on shared software development, networking and the openness of the web, making it accessible for millions, if not billions.

 

 

What the selection committee said about this year’s Laureates

Linus Torvalds

“In recognition of the unprejudiced creation of a new open source operating system leading to the largely exploited Linux kernel. The free availability on the Web swiftly caused a chain-reaction leading to further development and fine-tuning worth the equivalent of 73,000 man-years. Today the estimated number of users is 30 million. The achievement of Linus Torvalds has had a great impact on software development and on cultural and ethical issues of networking and openness of the Web.”

Congratulations Linus!


Samir Saleem

An innovative and dynamic marketing expert having worked for both local and multinational organisations,having expertise in leading diverse assignments on devising digital/social media marketing strategies, promotions, public relations and business development. As an experienced social media strategist and business analyst, he manages several brands via his 2nd Startup Hybrid Signals (www.hybridsignals.com) Samir is an award winning technology and social media blogger and can be reached at samzbest@gmail.com

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