The LinuxWorld conference, which has evolved into one of the major open source events in the US and Europe, is set to launch in the UK next year.
The UK show will take place at the Birmingham NEC from 3-4 September, and will be the second LinuxWorld event in Europe, joining an annual event in Germany. It will directly compete with Linux Expo UK, which has been running in this country for five years and will take place next October in London.
The Linux operating system became a major force in the Web server market during the dot-com boom, and is gaining increasing interest during the current IT slump because of its low cost and stability. The software is based on an open-source licence that gives users the ability to modify and redistribute the software, as long as the modifications are returned to the community. Generally, Linux vendors make the software available for free in some form, and sell technical support services.
Big companies such as IBM and HP have become vocal advocates for Linux and other open source software, with IBM pledging that it will spend around £650m a year to promote Linux.
In the UK, as in other European countries, Linux has caught the interest of the government, which may begin using open source software as a way of stimulating local software development and keeping the public sector from becoming dominated by Microsoft.
The UK government said in July that it will consider open-source software in a bid to avoid getting locked-in to proprietary IT products, and that contracts will be awarded on a value-for-money basis. The policy will affect central governments, local governments and the wider public sector, including non-departmental public bodies and the National Health Service.
"Linux is the fastest-growing operating system in the world, and the UK market is ready for a top-notch event such as LinuxWorld, which showcases the latest developments in open source technology," said Rob Scheschareg, IDG World Expo vice president, in a statement.