Linuxworld leaves SA
The LinuxWorld Conference and Expo will not be held in South Africa this year after Exhibitions for Africa, which ran the LinuxWorld Expo for the past two years, decided the licensing costs for the show were too high. The company says it is unlikely the show will be staged again in the country.
Instead of a separate Linuxworld show, Exhibitions for Africa say they will now make space available for Linux and open source software-orientated exhibitors within the combined Futurex and Equip shows which will take place from May 15 to 18 in Johannesburg.
Debbie Rodney of Exhibitions for Africa said that although there was a large amount of interest in LinuxWorld, the high cost of the licence had made it impractical to run the event under the LinuxWorld banner. She said many of the exhibitors incorporate OSS and Linux into their offerings, but very few solely offer Linux and OSS services and products. Because of this, exhibitors indicated that they would prefer not to have to divide their budgets across separate stands.
Anton De Wet, CEO of Obsidian said the company took part in the first LinuxWorld expo but did not return the following year as they felt they did not get enough out of it for the amount that it cost them. As De Wet explained, the costs involved mean that the expo is limited to the ‘big boys’.
One of the ‘big boys’, Joe Ruthven, IBM South Africa’s business development manager for Linux and OSS, said that IBM would continue to be involved if it were to run again. He explained that although they did not necessarily make many sales leads from the show, it was worth their while to be involved as it cements the perception that IBM is serious about Linux and open source. Interestingly, at the other LinuxWorld shows across the world IBM has stopped its traditional participation. Instead of having an IBM stand, they now sponsor a ‘dot org’ pavilion where they showcase their contributions to open source.
For more information on the Futurex and Equip shows, go to www.futurex.co.za..