Highlights at LinuxWorld

One area where Linux has increasingly bright prospects is in the embedded space.

In case you missed it—and many of you did—here are some product highlights from LinuxWorld in New York earlier this month.

I wont make any more claims about the future of Linux on the desktop, other than to say there are many more users who believe it can supplant Windows than there are vendors. Red Hat and Caldera are not really interested in competing with Microsoft, other than on the server.

The two vendors that believe they have a chance are SuSE and Ximian. SuSE is the lone Linux distribution that actually sells more consumer desktops than servers in the United States, officials said, though one of its recent wins was a mainframe deal at Salomon Smith Barney. Ximian officials arent ready to say youre going to start seeing Linux preinstalled on machines at BestBuy, but for the first time, the company is being asked by potential customers to do feasibility studies to determine the cost benefit of replacing Windows enterprisewide.

One area where Linux has increasingly bright prospects is in the embedded space. One of the more popular booths was Sharp Electronics, which featured its forthcoming Zaurus SL-5500 PDA (or Personal Mobile Tool, as Sharp calls it). The unit features a Linux-based operating system from Lineo (descended from Caldera); a bright color LCD; ports for several different types of wireless access, including 3G when available; and a pull-out and BlackBerry-type keypad.

There were plenty of Linux management tools on display, but one company that stood out was Geodesic with its Great Circle debugger, Runtime Solution and free Analyzer products, which now support Linux and help solve the nagging problem of application compatibility. With the various Linux distributions out there, users may not be getting the performance they expect from a rock-solid operating system. This tool can help.

What did you see? Write to me at scot_ [email protected]

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...