As Steve Jobs Steps Down, Linux Turns 20: Which Changed the World More?

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Yesterday, Steve Jobs officially stepped down as CEO of Apple. Today, the Linux kernel turns 20. That makes it as good a time as any to look back and assess – which has shaped computing, and the world, more? Linus Torvalds' "hobby OS," or Steve Jobs?

This might seem like an unfair comparison, one man versus an army of programmers and companies. But that's at the core of the question. Is it Jobs, a leader who pays close and particular attention to detail and focuses on a single mission? Or the Linux community's collaborative but uncoordinated approach that gives free reign to companies to do what they will with the operating system?

The Case for Steve Jobs

It's hard to separate Jobs and Apple. From the Apple I, to popularizing the GUI, to the iPhone, Apple has had an enormous impact on computing. Even when Apple hasn't led the market in sales, it's still helped influence certain other dominant operating systems.

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