It will likely be many years before history can make that call. Although Jobs just resigned from his day-to-day CEO job at Apple, Torvalds has publicly promised that his retirement is many years away.
Even so, if Torvalds were to stop today, on whose head would the ball drop? Zemlin surprisingly says it's not Kroah-Hartman but Andrew Morton. "Andrew has one of the toughest jobs in Linux. He's the guy responsible for the development tree. Linus trusts Andrew Morton," he says.
Despite Zemlin's disclaimers that he can't see the future, that hasn't stopped him from trying to predict it. During his keynote speech at the recent LinuxCon event he poked fun at himself and his annual proclamation that this would be the year of Linux on the desktop. The desktop is one area where Linux can't claim success.
Zemlin says desktop dominance grows less important and we all have Apple to thank for it. "Apple did something for Linux that was really good. They have clearly shown that the desktop doesn't matter. Microsoft's stalwart position doesn't matter, and that has really enabled a lot. They showed that there are alternative ways of accessing information and they have definitely been breaking ground on this move toward streaming videos and music. Android is a result of that and it's all Linux."
Nevertheless, he quips he would be "completely remiss if I didn't predict the year of the desktop every single year."
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