A Year Ago: Linux hijacks Windows NT show

First published: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 13:41:18 GMT

Under the counter Definite Linux sells like hot cakes

A subversive open source element was in evidence at this year's Window's NT forum in London as Linux-advocates achieved the final insult in hijacking the show.

Although the Windows NT forum is perhaps the last place you'd expect to find Linux fans, there was evidence that even the most hardened advocates of mainstream software are starting to come around to the ways of open-source.

One vendor of NT printing software confidentially revealed to ZDNet that he had taken to selling boxes of Definite Linux -- acquired from the IT Forum next door -- under the counter at his stand. This unlikely Linux convert also confessed that editions of this UK distribution of Linux were selling like hot cakes. "I've sold loads of these," he said cheerfully. "Much more than my own stuff. There's Linux everywhere next door so I thought why not try to sell a few of these."

Microsoft's main rival in the operating system stakes was also making itself felt more openly at the Silicon Graphics (SGI) stand at the centre of the show. SGI rather cheekily set up a Linux vs. NT test of their very own by placing a Linux box and an NT machine next to each other and letting the punters decide for themselves.

Representatives at the SGI stand were understandably nervous about the stunt and refused point blank to make any comment. However, the crowd hanging around the Linux machine far outsized those taking an interest in the NT system. One fairly representative comment from an intrigued onlooker was, "I've heard a lot about Linux and we're thinking of using it for our company. It certainly looks nice, but the thing that really interests us is that it only costs about forty pounds."

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