"Not to put too fine a point on it, but opening keynote
speaker Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian made the case that a shrinking
GDP, cautious CFOs and general uncertainty translates into IT
spending cuts of up to 10 percent. He then declared that "open
source will be the largest beneficiary of this economic downturn."
I had not yet finished my first cup of coffee and I was convinced
that the world was ending, but for the saving grace of open source.
"RedHat CEO Jim Whitehurst continued the theme in his afternoon
keynote. Whitehurst was a speaker last year, and in his 2008 speech
he pointed out that ill economic breezes were kicking up. This
year, in so many words, he said I told you so and by the way, "This
is a fantastic time for open source." He said that tough economic
times cause people to re-think strategies and that RedHat came into
its own after the dot.com bust. It should be noted that the next
day, RedHat released its quarterly results, which basically hit the
ball out of the park.
"Next up, a group panel moderated by Jim Zemlin of the Linux
Foundation featured Whitehurst and a group of open source end-users
including K.S. Bhaskar of Fidelity Information Services, Timothy
Golden of Bank of America and Vinod Kutty of the Chicago Mercantile