Taiwan and Computex seek ways out of their box

Taiwan, its tech industry and CompuTex can all feel boxed-in.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

Taiwan, its tech industry and CompuTex can all feel boxed-in.

  1. Taiwan is boxed-in by China. Shake hands with the dragon and wonder if you're a friend or a snack.
  2. Taiwan's tech industry is boxed in by Microsoft. It's all hardware, dependent on software.
  3. CompuTex is boxed in by memories of Comdex. Managers from all over come looking for solutions, but the Taiwan industry can only offer the hardware part.

Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation was here, trying to get all these folks out of their box. But Microsoft is so dominant he was lucky to get a morning seminar, on the show's third day, at an outlying venue far from the main action.

So he hung up a banner reading "Linux Forum 2009," he was preceded by a speaker from the Moblin project, which the Linux Foundation now hosts for Intel, and he gave his pitch,

"The two worlds of phones and PCs are coming together. New competition for Acer is not Dell or HP, it's Samsung and Nokia," he said.

Zemlin pushed Linux as a convergence platform, something servers, desktops, TVs and phones can all use, often with the same drivers. He explained how the Linux Standard Base offers tools to assure compatibility with major distros, and how you can brand your own version of Linux if you choose.

"Time to market is faster because you have access to the code," he said., "And there are lots of ways for OEMs to profit using Linux."

There were a few hundred folks in the room. Some left after the Moblin discussion. Whether they understood or will respond appropriately is a question I can't answer. It won't get rid of the boxes the island, the industry and the show find themselves in.

Maybe, however, it can make the box bigger.




This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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