Sun Cofounder Prefers OS X To Linux, Is Indifferent To Open Source

In an interview at Wired, Bill Joy, cofounder of Sun Microsystems, talks about his 21 years at Sun, Microsoft, Linux, and other topics. Interestingly, Joy says that he recently purchased a dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 with 8GB of RAM and a half a terabyte worth of internal hard drive space, and that he prefers OS X to Linux. He also mentions that the open source movement doesnit interest him, and that he doesnit believe that a global community of programmers is necessary to make good software. From Wired:

But innovation is supposed to be dead.
Nonsense. Mooreis law still has at least a decade to go with conventional silicon. Thatis a factor of 100 in performance, which means that with some work to make the algorithms run faster, weive got maybe a factor of a thousand improvement still to come. If you give me machines that are a thousand times as powerful as todayis at the same price, I ought to be able to do something radically better. Thirty years ago a supercomputer was 80 megahertz. Now a personal computer is 2 gigahertz, and yet the software isnit 25 times better. I just got a new Mac with two 2-gigahertz processors, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a half a terabyte of internal disk.

Good for Apple. So what?
So you have the ability to hold a huge simulation all in memory - a database becomes a data structure. Add 64-bit computing and I can do breathtaking visualization. But thatis not a space Iim going to go into, by the way. Peopleis expectations in three dimensions are so high. On the other hand, existing operating systems, especially the ones provided by the reigning monopolist here, are deeply flawed. So thereis enormous opportunity.


And yet youive been famously cool about Linux.
Re-implementing what I designed in 1979 is not interesting to me personally. For kids who are 20 years younger than me, Linux is a great way to cut your teeth. Itis a cultural phenomenon and a business phenomenon. Mac OS X is a rock-solid system thatis beautifully designed. I much prefer it to Linux.

What about the open source idea in general?
Open source is fine, but it doesnit take a worldwide community to create a great operating system. Look at Ken Thompson creating Unix, Stephen Wolfram writing Mathematica in a summer, James Gosling in his office making Java. Now, thereis nothing wrong with letting other people help, but open source doesnit assist the initial creative act. What we need now are great things. I donit need to see the source code. I just want a system that works.

You can read the full interview at Wiredis Web site.

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