March 26, 2001, 11:38 AM —
Over the past year, I have watched and written about various Linux technical issues and gained invaluable experience within my own company, Command Prompt. My experience and the revelations that I have had at the last two LinuxWorld expositions have given me some insight into where Linux is going.
The August 2000 LinuxWorld event was crazy. The show had outgrown the San Jose Convention Center, and some exhibitors were relegated to the halls. The floor was loud, with multiple magicians and presentations. You couldn't walk past three booths without somebody trying to get your attention or give you some swag. Many vendors hired women to wear costumes specifically designed to please the male attendees. The stock market had not yet reared up and quashed the IPO frenzy it started, and people still felt alive with Linux euphoria.
The feelings of euphoria disappeared in the third and fourth quarters of 2000. Corel, which was once considered by many to be one the larger forces in the commercial Linux arena, laid off at least 320 employees. Profit warnings from companies like VA Linux abounded, and stocks that once rode in the utopian clouds sank to $8 per share.