Microsoft's Suse Linux franchise
Published 09:18, 09 May 08
There are 336 delegates to the KommITS Conference, of whom 156 are Members of the Society, which is a record.
I am seated at a table, bedecked with our flags, with the other international delegates, where head-sets for the translation are provided.
Before the conference start, commercials (many very amusing) play in the auditorium, arranged, I learn, by Apple, which is producing a pod-cast of the whole event.
Following a welcome from Strömstad's Mayor (and introduction of the international delegates) the keynote speech is given by Tina Thörner (Turner) - a world-class Rally Co-Driver ("Map Reader" – one of only 40 in the world) who was Colin McCrae's co-driver until he was killed, last year, in a helicopter crash.
I enjoy Tina's presentation more as a motor-sport fan than for its inspirational content; although this is excellent, I have seen many such presentations before.
The keynote presentation is followed by a "Partner Parade" in which sponsors are introduced to the audience. Bronze partners (16 of them) get a 1 minute interview by the Compere; 4 Silver Partners get to give 5 minute presentations, and 2 Gold partners have 10 minutes each.
I note that Novell has a local arrangement with Microsoft, which resells its version of Suse Linux to enable Linux exploitation on a Windows platform!
At breaks, bell-ringers walk among the audience to encourage them to return to their conference sessions.
Sweden seems generally advanced in its exploitation of ICT, compared to the UK, but in broadband penetration it is well behind. Maybe unsurprising in a largely rural, and much less populous than the UK, state.
Some of the lessons are familiar; "operators invested a lot less than expected" and "the market doesn't build everywhere for commercial reasons".
Other presentations analyse the development and maturity of ICT in Sweden ("The Present Day Dragon") and "The School environment of the Future", in which the approach to the development of digital competence is described.
Nine hundred examiners of student digital competence, working with Local Authorities, support 45,000 teachers, awarding qualifications at 5 levels in practical IT and media production competencies.
In the evening there is an excellent dinner and show with comedy and music. The "star" is Nadje, who is 16, but seems younger. I feel a little uncomfortable at seeing a juvenile singing rock music on-stage, but wow – what a voice – my tip for future international stardom!