"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..."