Freedom, Community & Sustainability

Linus Torvalds awarded the 2012 Millenium Prize, the closest equivalent to the Nobel Prize

April 20, 2012 -- Webmaster
Last modified on July 2018

Today is a great day for freedom! The renowned Technology Academy of Finland has officially declared Linus Torvalds together with Dr Shinya Yamanaka the two winners of the 2012 Technology prize. It is considered by many as the closest equivalent to the Nobel Prize since there is no Nobel Prize for technology innovators. The two men will share the sum of about a million euros for their work and contribution to humanity. The prize was awarded only four times in the past and include the creator of World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

During the last twenty years of work, the Linux kernel powered a broad variety of machines, from vacuum cleaners up to super computers, including all kinds of robots and recent smart phones. A development worth an estimated amount of 73.000 man-years according to the Technology Academy of Finland. The committee stated that “[...] The achievement of Linus Torvalds has had a great impact on software development and on cultural and ethical issues of networking and openness of the Web.”

Although not many desktop computers run Linux today and some people may think it's a fringe technology, Linux runs the majority of the most powerful computers on earth, it runs the majority of Internet servers including the ones of the biggest online companies like Google, Facebook or Amazon and gave rise to a world wide culture of profitable collaborative work (Red Hat, Canonical, SUSE). Last but not least, Linux is available to all, free of charge!

Congratulations to Linus Torvalds and to all the Free and Open Source community for this achievement!