Linux is showing off its new-found maturity at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco.
HP's vice president of Linux, Martin Fink, said that the operating system is entering its "boring" phase, and that much of the news concerned the launch of products around the software, rather than Linux itself.
One bright spot was Novell which unveiled its SuSE Linux Enterprise System 9, the first enterprise distribution that uses the new 2.6 Linux kernel, giving a significant boost to performance, the company said.
Red Hat meanwhile strayed into the world of middleware by uncovering Red Hat Application Server.
This was the first Red Hat product outside the space of operating software, and the company promised more in the coming year in areas like security and policy management.
Where possible, Red Hat will use existing open source software as building blocks.
The new Application Server, for instance, uses code from projects like the Java Open Application Server that is being developed by the ObjectWeb non-profit software consortium and Tomcat, part of the Apache Jakarta Project.
Computer Associates took a similar approach with its upcoming Ingres r3 database, which incorporates open source code from Oracle and IBM. CA has also opened the source code for Ingres itself.
IBM transferred a database to the public domain, although its Cloudscape relational database is intended for use in embedded Java-based applications.
For the first time in three years, Microsoft was missing from the show floor. The company had defied ridicule from Linux developers for the past two years, who made a habit of posing for pictures in front of its expo space.
The software giant debuted at the show in 2002 in an effort to reach out to the open source community.
Prior to the show, organisers said they expected 11,000 visitors. The number of exhibitors grew from 135 last year to 190 this year.
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