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Linux Journal: More Business, Less Boothness

Aug 22, 2002, 20:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Doc Searls)

"Last week's LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco was surreal. If you walked in the front door of Moscone's North Hall and looked at only the brand names of the biggest booths on the floor, you might think you were at Comdex '85 or PC Expo '92. Clustered together in sprawling booths at the center of the floor were IBM, HP, Sun, Intel and AMD. All of them were filled with upbeat business folk, talking business trash, showing off third-party stuff and doing deals. For a suitwatcher like me, it was like pulling the trawler over a school of tuna.

"The .ORG Pavilion was still there, but minus the pods of geeks lounging on beanbag chairs like sea lions on rocks, hacking away on their laptops. No Nerf gun battles across the booth partitions. Not even much in the way of crowd-pulling, cool new stuff. The closest thing to a major attraction was the Sharp booth, where there was a brisk business in new Zaurus PDAs. One source told me Sharp brought three thousand of the things to the show and sold them all; another source said they brought a thousand units and sold about two hundred. I also heard that HP had a nice graphics something-or-other setup, but I missed it, sticking as closely as I could to the business beat.

"Across the board, the suits were happy; it turns out that Linux is very good for business. Even in a down economy, nearly all the numbers for Linux have been pointing up..."

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