Is Linux getting Comdex-ed?

It's far from being Comdex. But the noise level in the Linux world continues to rise, and with that comes a need to rise above the noise, to build the marketing budget, to make a splash.

The buzz on the Linuxworld show floor has yet to reach Comdex levels (circa the mid 1990s), or even those of a good 1997 Internet World. But booths now fill the Moscone Center floor, and some of them -- IBM, Novell, Intel, Oracle, HP, AMD, Motorola -- are starting to scale.

These larger booths are surrounded by a host of 20 x 30 blocks. Some are held by one outfit (O'Reilly, Tyan, Avocent) while others are subdivided further, many into 10 x 10 "stands" consisting of a backboard, a desk, and some earnest salesmen in matching shirts.

It's far from being Comdex. But the noise level in the Linux world continues to rise, and with that comes a need to rise above the noise, to build the marketing budget, to make a splash.

Perhaps the biggest change this year, as Martin LaMonica reports, is the rise of outfits like Zimbra which claim to "own" their own "IP." They are telling an open source story, but their real aim is to displace proprietary giants like Microsoft with "good enough" products and then squeeze some profit from that.

I don't know how you feel about it, but to me it's deja vu all over again. Each new industry I've covered -- PCs, the Internet, mobile -- has gone through a phase like this, re-capitulating the past before it tries to discover its future.

Is that the way it looks to you? Let us know below.

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