LinuxWorld Expo in Boston last week featured a number of better than average keynotes and panel sessions. The best one I saw was one called "Is Linux Killing the Enterprise Software Model?" The panel was moderated by Larry Augustin and featured open source CEOs Marten Mickos (MySQL), Marc Fleury (JBoss), John Roberts (SugarCRM) and Peter Levine(XenSource).
Overall the panel was good. Marc Fleury was his usual lively self, slamming IBM and old school enterprise software companies. Marten Mickos was the elder statesman of the panel, providing a good perspective on balancing the needs of enterprise customers and the open source community. Other good points made:
- Open source software must be easy to consume
- Consumers of open source need to try it out themselves to see if it works
- It's not just about "free" as in "no cost" you must have access to source code
- Open source is both a development approach and distribution model
- There is an impedence mismatch between the needs of IT (stability) and the Community (Release early, release often)
- VCs are willing to invest in open source because the sales model is cheaper than traditional enterprise software companies
- Sooner or later, ever sector will be impacted
Otherwise, LinuxWorld Boston was smaller and less exciting than last year. There seemed to be fewer attendees at the session than in past years. There was lots of interest in virtualization, but no really huge announcements. Notably absent from the tradeshow were HP, IBM and Sun, which was presumably still reeling from their latest layoff.