The second Open CeBIT in Sydney ended last week. Forming a section of the much larger CeBIT expo, Open CeBIT focused on open source technologies and solutions. I was involved in three stands: BizCubed (my employer), Linux Australia and Open Source Industry Australia.
In the market, FOSS is clearly maturing and becoming more mainstream. At a CeBIT a couple of years ago, I’d be answering basic questions like, “what is open source?”, “what is Linux?” and “how do you make money?” This year, I didn’t get any questions like that at all. Most people knew something about Linux and FOSS, and just needed some direction to get started.
We had much interest in community and general usage at the Linux Australia stand. Our Fedora, Ubuntu and Edubuntu discs were popular. Of immense popularity were our OLPC XOs, thanks to OLPC Australia. Visitors were genuinely interested in the units, and I didn’t hear any negative feedback at all. I do believe that a lot of people did understand that this is an education project for children in the developing world and not just a laptop project.
At the Open Source Industry Australia stand, I spoke to many people who were interested in deploying FOSS solutions to solve specific problems. Many of these people would not have considered FOSS in the past, so clearly our message is resonating.
Coming up in a couple of weeks (June 14–15) is the Education Expo. We’ve always been successful there, and all signs point to us repeating that.