CeBIT 2008 - Previewing The Trends

Spring Greening And The Search For IT Professionals

Competition breeds new concepts. Gamers go to the Games|Convention, consumers attend the IFA. With its audience being wooed away, the red-themed CeBIT goes green. The schedule shifts, too, with a greater emphasis on business. 5500 exhibitors now have more space for business thanks to a structure that focuses on solutions.

CeBIT 2008 really has a difficult time asserting itself as the world's largest IT expo. In Germany, the Games Convention and the IFA are wooing its audience away, on an international level it faces competition from the CES and Computex. Expo director Ernst Raue announced that the balancing act is now coming to a close. "Our new concept with a more clear-cut profile, clearer structure and more content is very well received". Raue confirmed that 5500 exhibitors from 75 countries had registered for this year's CeBIT, backing up his claim. The new concept rests on the pillars of "Business Solutions", "Public Sector Solutions", Technology & Infrastructure", and "Home and Mobile Solutions". Additionally, the Messe AG, the company behind CeBIT, is expanding the conference program with the "CeBIT Global Conferences".

An obvious change is the new time frame. This year, CeBIT is starting a day earlier, namely on Tuesday, 4 March, and ends on Sunday, March 9 2008. As a result, the infamous scavenger field days where hordes of bag-toting treasure hunters storm the expo halls now suddenly takes place on the expo's last day instead of the halfway point. The message couldn't be clearer - business first, cheap entertainment later. Expo management also seem to have learned that while classes of schoolchildren may bolster the number of visitors they could report, it didn't really help the businesses present.

This year, the expo management has decided to spotlight the range of topics dealing with "Green IT", with many approaches being showcased in the "Green IT Village" in hall 9. The main focus will be on highly energy efficient solutions and power saving technologies and their contribution to climate protection. Green IT is the buzzword of the moment and was even dubbed the "Megatrend of this expo" by director Raue. Only the future will show whether or not Green IT will be able to spawn attractive new business areas. At any rate, Tom's Hardware was able to draw many interested visitors to its stand at Systems 2007 in Munich, thanks to the DIY Solar PC.

The expo is trying to draw companies from the automobile sector as well. For example, you can witness a driver-less VW Passat cruising around the open lot north of Hall 26, controlled by Intel processors instead of a driver - a demonstration in autonomous driving.

Those interested in consumer electronics will surely notice that HD-DVD is disappearing from the booths. Blu-ray has emerged victorious from the battle for the next-gen HD video format. Finally, the format war that has been waged at the consumers' expense is over.

Celebrities At The Opening

German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will open the exposition on the evening of March 3rd. Such celebrities as French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and president of the EU commission José Manuel Barroso have all announced that they will be speaking at this occasion.

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Tom's Hardware CeBIT Team

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