Business Week has an interview with Linux Trovald. Very interesting and quite insightful. My favourite quote
Q: Some say Linux and a lot of open-source projects really aren't innovative, that they're copies of commercial products. What's your reaction to that?
A: I disagree. It's an easy argument to make. One reason people make it is that, in open source, they don't see the revolutionary new versions magically appearing. In comparison, look at commercial closed systems. They make a new release every year or three to four years with a huge marketing splash. They make it look very different. But it's a circus to make it look like a sudden innovation.
In open source, you don't have a circus. You don't see a sudden explosion. It's not done that way. All development is very gradual -- whether commercial or open source. Even when you have a big thinker coming along with a new idea, actually getting it working takes a lot of sweat and tears.
There's innovation in Linux. There are some really good technical features that I'm proud of. There are capabilities in Linux that aren't in other operating systems. A lot of them are about performance. They're internal ways of doing things in a very efficient manner. In a kernel, you're trying to hide the hard work from the application, rather than exposing the complexity.As a result of these innovations, you get good performance, better security. Linux is actually very stable. People complain about how long it takes us to develop new versions, but we made sure that with new upgrades, old programs continue to run. We have programs written in 1992 that will run on the latest versions.
Also it's good to copy good ideas. It should be encouraged. We don't say Einstein was a really smart guy and we should come up with a better theory of relativity. We build on top of his good ideas and have new exciting quests.