Linux: The Road Not Taken (Not)

This year's LinuxWorld illustrates Linux is well past the point of making inroads into the enterprise -- it's now having roads named after it.

Walking into LinuxWorld in New York this year, I immediately felt that something wasnt the same. The show was smaller, but, then again, every show the last year has been smaller. Then it hit me: The big Linux package vendors such as Red Hat werent immediately visible.

They were there, of course--vendors such as Caldera, Mandrake and Red Hat. But their booths were much smaller than usual, and they were in the corners and at the edges of the show.

Instead, the vendors dominating the show floor space--and the attention of many show goers--were the big enterprise players that have made Linux a cornerstone of their solutions. These included Computer Associates, HP, BMC, Intel and, of course, IBM.

The enterprise focus of this show wasnt limited to these major vendors; smaller vendors such as Covalent and Veritas were also showing strong offerings for the enterprise.

Some say this demonstrates that Linux is finally ready for the enterprise, but I say this misses the point. Linux was ready for and accepted by the enterprise a while ago. Its now penetrated further, and is considered to be an excellent platform for many key enterprise implementations.

Not that there werent some interesting non-enterprise products at the show. Ximian had a large presence, as did mostly the unknown Hancom, a Korean-based maker of Linux office products. And, maybe not surprisingly, Sun was mostly showing desktop and productivity apps for Linux.

But this years show clearly illustrated Linux is well past the point of making inroads into the enterprise. Its now having roads named after it.

eWEEK Labs East Coast Technical Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at [email protected]