The penguin awakes

With Melbourne resuming its rightful place as Sydney's slightly embarrassing provincial neighbour after the Commonwealth Games, the scene is now set for an event of real significance.Early tomorrow morning the March of the Penguins (apologies to the Oscar-winning documentary) arrives in Sydney.

With Melbourne resuming its rightful place as Sydney's slightly embarrassing provincial neighbour after the Commonwealth Games, the scene is now set for an event of real significance.

Early tomorrow morning the March of the Penguins (apologies to the Oscar-winning documentary) arrives in Sydney.

Linux luminaries from vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Oracle are all poised to detail how tough life is trekking 100 kilometres in sub-zero temperatures to find a breeding ground -- sorry, how open source software can deliver bottom-line benefits to businesses.

The LinuxWorld conference and expo -- to be held in Darling Harbour from Tuesday to Thursday -- is billing itself as the emperor penguin of Linux spruikfests. Whether it is or not, it is certainly timely.

The federal and NSW governments -- with their beady eyes trained closely on reducing their massive procurement bills -- are bending over backwards to persuade agencies to consider Linux and open source software as an alternative to proprietary offerings.

(The subtext being of course, if you're not actually seriously considering installing Linux and open source, at least pretend you are, so you can screw a lower price out of Microsoft next time a contract comes up for renewal).

However, as our correspondent David Braue found, not many companies are overly interested in skiting about chucking out Windows for Linux, raising some serious questions as to whether Linux is actually landing any telling pecks on Microsoft in the commercial sector.

While businesses of all sizes are migrating from Unix in significant numbers (worthy enough stories in themselves but without the mix of needle and nasty insinuation about product capabilities that a good solid turf-Windows yarn has), it seems precious few large companies are ordering their Microsoft installations to take a long walk out into the snow.

If you've got a different perspective or insight you'd like to share, let me know!

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