In the crowded jumble of technology trade shows, the recent LinuxWorld Conference and Expo was tough to miss. More than 20,000 attendees packed San Francisco’s Moscone Center to hear the computer industry’s biggest players pledge their support for the open-source operating system?or at least their willingness to play along. (Full disclosure: IDG World Expo, which shares the parent company of CIO’s publisher, produced the show.)
Among those diving into the Linux pool were Scott McNealy, chairman, president and CEO of Sun Microsystems, who debuted Sun’s Linux version; Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison, who said the company runs its website and internal e-mail on Linux; and IBM and Hewlett-Packard, which both unveiled additions to their Linux-friendly product lines. Even Microsoft sponsored its first-ever booth at the show.
While these vendors ran with the Linux crowds, they also didn’t lack for candor. McNealy said he was not about to become a devotee of free technology products. “I am a capitalist, and I’m not ashamed of that,” he said in a keynote speech reported by the IDG News Service. “One of the ways that we will go make money is selling hardware. I have not seen the open-source equivalent of downloading a server over the Internet.”