Torvalds is best known for creating the Linux kernel in 1991, which along with free software produced by the GNU foundation, became the Linux operating system we know today.
For almost two decades Torvalds has maintained the Linux kernel, sponsored by the Linux Foundation, and managing contributions from companies and developers worldwide.
'It was time to grow up and get a real job,' Torvalds said. 'I'm excited about the chance to really innovate and make an operating system with Microsoft. I want to see my work in the hands of the majority this time around.'
Torvalds will be working with Dave Cutler, the chief architect behind Windows NT who Microsoft similarly poached from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and who was behind the VAX/VMS operating system.
Asked how he could reconcile working with Microsoft after long being a staunch open source advocate Torvalds said he did not see any conflict of interest. 'Linux will continue to exist without me, and that's the beauty of open source. Meanwhile, I hope to push Microsoft from the inside to make a free entry-level version of the new OS we're creating. I think open source is out of the question though.'
No details about the project are yet available, but given Cutler's recent work on Windows Azure it's possible it will be a cloud-centric operating system.
You're reading The Linux Distillery. Click here for more.