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.

LotD: Mac­Gyver is favourite dis­as­ter hero

%d bloggers like this: