Linux creator Linus Torvalds declined job offer from Steve Jobs

Mar 22, 2012
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In an alternate reality somewhere, Linus Torvalds could have been working for Apple. Wired recently sat down for an interview with the creator of Linux, who revealed an interesting tidbit. Back in 2000, Steve Jobs contacted Torvalds with a job offer. He asked that Torvalds work on Unix for Mac OS full time, although he would have had to drop all work on Linux.

Speaking to Wired, Linus Torvalds said:

Unix for the biggest user base: that was the pitch. He wanted me to work at Apple doing non-Linux things. I said no.

Torvalds disliked Mac OS, particularly the Mach kernel. He asked Steve Jobs if the Mac OS kernel would be switched, and was told that it wouldn’t. Later on, Linux would become the core for several mobile operating systems, including Android and webOS.

Despite Torvalds reservations, he has said in the past that he admires certain aspects of what Apple has accomplished. He has also praised Steve Jobs for his abilities to push the company through difficulties, as well as making radical ideas work. However, he has also expressed dislike in the direction Apple has taken in other areas, such as the tight control of media, saying that what they’re doing is “worse than what Microsoft ever did.”

[via Tom's Hardware]


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