Rise in attendance at International LinuxTag

02.06.2008 12:32
Wolfgang Wagner

Berlin, 2 June 2008 - Interim Summary: More than 11,600 visitors from 31 countries - keen interest in hands-on open source software - greater emphasis on business aspect of fair - first CIO summit a success

LinuxTag is attracting greater attention than ever before. This year 11,612 visitors from 31 countries came to Berlin to visit Europe?s largest event for Linux and open source software, around 18 per cent more than last year. The number of visitors from abroad was 12 per cent higher than the previous year. Professional users, experts and interested visitors from all over Europe, Africa, Asia and North America were gathered at the international meeting place for business and the community, which ended last Saturday.

More than 200 companies and independent projects took part in the 14th LinuxTag. One of the most important trends is an increasing degree of cooperation among projects from different areas, so that their work can produce user-friendly solutions. The home entertainment solutions of MythTV and LinuxMCE which were presented in Berlin build on the results of the FFmpeg and MPlayer projects.

Oliver Zendel, Chairman of LinuxTag e. V.: "As an enthusiastic cyclist I was particularly fascinated by the Obico bicycle computer which uses free software. I was also able to try out the Openmoko Freerunner for the first time. Holding the device in one?s hand is a completely different experience to merely reading about it on the web.?

The keynote delivered by kernel maintainer Dave Miller was also very well received by visitors to LinuxTag. Presenting the subject to users, he outlined the technically complex development of a kernel in easy-to-understand terms. Afterwards one of the largest public meetings of kernel hackers took place. More than 20 developers discussed future Linux developments with the audience.

Jens Heithecker, Director at Messe Berlin GmbH: ?Increases in attendance and business, that is our summary of LinuxTag 2008. Once again the last few days have shown that bringing an internationally networked Linux community and commercial exhibitors together is a recipe for success. Following the success of the first CIO summit we will also be organising this meeting for IT decision-makers at next year?s LinuxTag.?

Comments by exhibitors on LinuxTag 2008

Terri Molini, Spokeswoman of Sun Microsystems (USA):
"For us LinuxTag is a great platform for introducing new products and meeting the community. During the last few days we met a great many interesting visitors at the fair. From our point of view the event was a great success."

Cécile Maindron, Marketing Programs Manager, talend (France):
"LinuxTag is becoming a business event. We met so many business contacts and achieved our goals, and in terms of quality it was even a pleasant surprise. For example, we had a top executive of one of the world?s largest management consultancies on our stand. As far as we are concerned LinuxTag was definitely worth the visit."

Elmar Geese, Managing Director, tarent, Bonn: 
"From our point of view it was worth it in every respect. We established numerous new business contacts, including from abroad. We also met highly qualified people from projects, who can help improve our business prospects. It is striking that more and more projects have a commercial side to them."

Mahender Nandikonda, Executive Director Qvantel (India):
"Berlin is the right place in Europe to hold such an event. It was our aim to expand our network with companies and projects, goals we were able to achieve. We welcome the specially organised Mobile & Embedded Area? at LinuxTag. We hope that as a result the event will become even more business-orientated."

Jaqueline Rahemipour, Project Manager, de.OpenOffice.org:
"With eighty people participating our two-day OpenOffice.org conference was extremely well attended. We had numerous conference visitors interested in business, who were curious to find out about OpenOffice.org 3. It always fascinates me that at LinuxTag the community aspect and business go hand in hand."

Peer Oliver Schmidt, trade fair team, LinuxMCE project:
"LinuxTag ensured that many people now know what LinuxMCE is about. The fair made it possible for us to show numerous visitors that LinuxMCE consists of 20 per cent media and 80 per cent home automation, building security, telephony, using a regular PC interface. The visitors in Berlin were most enthusiastic about the possibilities."

Peer Oliver Schmidt, trade fair team, OpenStreetMap project:
"To us the many visitors on our stand were a positive surprise. It was great to be able to demonstrate the OpenStreetMap innovations of the last months at this venue. Coming into contact with other projects such as KDE Marble or FlightGear has given us the opportunity to widen distribution of our open card data."

Rise in number of exhibitors from abroad

With around 100 companies participating, LinuxTag in Berlin has consolidated its standing as Europe?s marketing platform for open source software. The number of professional companies attending increased by almost 30 per cent over the previous year. Nearly one in five of the companies on display came from abroad. There was substantial interest in LinuxTag 2008 in the USA. Among the international partners who took part in LinuxTag 2008 were IBM, Nokia, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems.

This year 105 projects from the open source community were also gathered at Linuxtag, 85 of which were represented at the exhibition. Over 600 developers and sponsors arrived from all parts of the world. At 250 keynotes and lectures and during a programme comprising more than 40 hours of workshop sessions around 200 speakers presented all the latest on this year?s main topics.

The first CIO Summit for IT decision-makers and the regularly held Business and Public Authorities Conference were a success. The IT heads of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Foreign Ministry presented the Linux and open source strategies of the German Government and its ministries. Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier was acting patron of LinuxTag 2008.

IBM Germany and Sun Microsystems were the official sponsors of this year?s LinuxTag.

The next LinuxTag Berlin will be taking place from 24 to 27 June 2009.

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