NVIDIA has made many friends, but it has also managed to step on a lot of toes, even when it doesn't seem to make much sense to turn people into enemies, and Linus Torvalds is one of the few who tells things as they are.
For those who aren't aware of it, Linus Torvalds is the creator of the Linux open source operating system. In other words, he is a very important person in the global IT industry.
Most recently, on June 14 in fact (2012), he participated in an event at the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship in Otaniemi, Finland.
There, he attended a video question and answer session where he touched on many of the past, present and future matters involving Linux.
Eventually, one of the attendees got up and summarized the relationship between Linux and NVIDIA. The man's comment was outright shocking, not because of its content but how bluntly, and harshly, it was transmitted.
Before we go any further, we should give some background: NVIDIA makes some really nice binary Linux drivers, but it doesn't actually provide open-source driver support for some reason.
Torvalds maintained his tongue-in-cheek manner at first, but he quickly scrapped all pretenses and expressed just how he feels about the matter.
The bottom line was that NVIDIA was “one of the worst trouble spots we've had with hardware manufacturers" and “the single worst company we have ever dealt with." Maybe the green camp should have thought twice about brushing off open-source, especially since Android uses Linux kernel and NVIDIA sells a lot of chips for it.
Keep in mind that the above lines were Torvalds being nice. The end of his answer was “NVIDIA, [expletive] you.” And the finger shown at the camera for good measure.
The video session is included below. Jump all the way to around 49 minutes in, if you want to get straight to this particular scene.