The first LinuxWorld tradeshow opened this week in San Jose, California, with more Linux-related announcements than you can shake a stick at. Netscape Communications announced that it would port its Directory Server, Messaging Server, and other tools to Linux. And IBM upped the ante with a much needed Linux support agreement that will bring the company's much-respected brand of support to the fledgling OS. And the long-awaited "GNOME" user interface for Linux is set to ship this week as well.

And how strong is the anybody-but-Microsoft sentiment felt these days? Well, Oracle keynoted the event. Corel is working on desktop applications for Linux, including a free version of WordPerfect. Even Sun, which has a competing version of UNIX, called Solaris, showed up and voiced its support for Linux. SAP, Computer Associates, and even Dell Computer had announcements for the Linux faithful.

"\[Today\] will probably go down as the day proprietary Unix really died," says Alan Cox, Red Hat's Linux kernel hacker.

And make no mistake: Though Linux's early victories are on the server, there are plans to make sure that the operating system also takes a bite out of Windows on the desktop. The plan is for a Linux user to not lack for any type of application that is found on Windows. A noble goal perhaps, and though some may laugh, they have a chance. Microsoft is huge, but it's only one company. And with the growing feeling that the Redmond giant is about lose big in its antitrust trial, the climate may be right for Linux to make inroads