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Linus Torvalds Sounds Off on Mac OS X Mavericks, and SteamOS

In a move that should surprise nobody, Microsoft is making its new Windows 8.1 operating system available at a cost for users who don’t already have Windows 8. Specifically, users in that boat will have to pay over $100 in typical cases and nearly $200 for a Pro version. By contrast, in rolling out its new OS X Mavericks operating system, Apple has grabbed headlines for making it completely free. This move from Apple has made some people in the open source community concerned that Mavericks might eat into the Linux user base. However, Linus Torvalds himself has dismissed this possibility. Linux has been available to users for free for over twenty years, but Apple’s operating systems are always impressive and share some benefits that Linux offers. For example, malware writers are much less attracted to both Linux and the Mac OS than they are to Windows. Speaking at the LinuxCon Europe conference in Edinburgh, Torvalds stressed that free software and open source software are different animals. In short, Apple’s OS is free, and is originally based on Unix, but it is still not open source. That matters a lot. Part of what helps Linux retain its popularity is that

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