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LinuxWorld: Linux at COMDEX

Nov 16, 1999, 02:15 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eileen Cohen)

"Linux looks likely to receive some serious scrutiny -- and a little respect -- at COMDEX. The colocated Linux Business Expo expects an unprecedented number of attendees, Linus Torvalds shares keynote honors with some of the industry's biggest names, and the business expo includes seminars that ask hard questions about putting Linux to work -- perhaps a sign that the rest of the world is coming around...."

"The Linux Business Expo (LBE) is a separate show (owned, like COMDEX, by Ziff-Davis Events) with its own conference and vendor expo, both concurrent and colocated with COMDEX. Attendance at LBE doesn't require separate registration, though; COMDEX registrants who purchased the Millennium Passport package can simply go to LBE whenever the mood strikes. The LBE management, according to representative Amy Groden, estimates that between 30,000 and 35,000 COMDEX attendees "have a significant interest in Linux" and will attend LBE. If this estimate pans out, that will make LBE by far the largest Linux conference to date. The International Data Group's highly successful LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, held in both March and August of this year, attracted between 6,000 and 8,000 attendees on each occasion."

"The projected attendance numbers are especially mind-boggling because LBE isn't catering in the least to either the Linux gearhead-and-hacker crowd or to aficionados of open source in its multifarious manifestations. The organizers are going after the people who make the big IT strategy decisions and approve the purchase orders. True, there will be an eight-session technical track in the two-day conference. Its focus, however, is not on nuts and bolts, but rather on simply clueing people in on the tools and technologies -- including open source ones -- that run on top of Linux and make it a productive platform. And, in an obvious acknowledgment of the computing environments from which many attendees will come, there's no attempt to avoid the W-word. Two of the technical-track sessions are "Using Linux with Windows: the WINE project" and "Experiences with Linux versus Windows NT servers." Speakers in the technical track include high-level execs from Red Hat, SuSE, VA Linux Systems, TurboLinux, Cygnus, SGI, Sendmail, and Linuxcare. Miguel de Icaza, who's slated to give a presentation about GNOME, seems like a techie island in a sea of suits."

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