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What is linux

What is LINUX?
Technically speaking, Linux is the Kernel; the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating systems: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux.
Its under developement since 1991, started by Linus Torvalds.

Why use Linux?

Most distributions are freeOpen-source (Completely customizable)Portable to nearly any hardware platformHighly scalable to lots of cores, or lots of memoryHighly efficient, therefore useful for computaionRobust and proven security modelincludes a complete development environment
More info at Linux.com