CeBIT 2001: What The Rest of The World is Saying About CeBIT 2001
Saturday, March 31, 2001
3/01 - CeBIT 2001 - With the opening day in the past, the world press has descended on CeBIT in search of stories. We thought we would take a look at what the press from around the world finds important. MSNBC is collaborating with Newsweek to provide daily coverage of the show, covering business and consumer technology. Their take is that the show is a mirror of the stalled economy, with many of the booths built to resemble fortresses designed to hold back the forces of competition. Contrast that with the correspondent from the BBC who found it "buoyant as ever" as exhibitors prepare for the arrival of more than 750,000 over seven days. ZDNet has a different take, focusing on the new technologies competing for the attention of the hundreds of thousands of professional visitors that will pace the halls in search of solutions. They believe that the combination of the Microsoft .Net and Office XP initiative in concert with the actual introduction of MAC OS X, Apple’s long anticipated follow-on operating system, will provide the excitement the sector needs. They also see the release of new technology from IOMEGA, Sony and Fuji with their removable mass storage devices as well as Anoto, and Kodak as a clear indication that this year’s CEBIT has a lot of innovation to showcase. CNN agrees. They highlighted the announcement of the new SUN servers by Greg Papadopoulos, chief technology officer at Sun, at their CeBIT press conference. Sun is shipping the Sun Fire 3800, Sun Fire 4800, Sun Fire 4810 and Sun Fire 6800 servers in time for this announcement, and they consider this a "very significant announcement for us." This beefs up the SUN server lineup to provide traditional mainframe functionality to the midrange business market, a target of SUN’s current marketing plan. Several outlets picked up on announcements by AMD, considered Intel’s chief rival, that their 1.3 GHz Athlon processors are on track. AMD is using CeBIT to introduce several new chips, including their dual Athlon and 1.5GHz systems, which goes by the name Palomino. Palomino is scheduled for availability to PC manufacturers in the third quarter. One of the theme in the European press has been the refutation of Carly Fiorina’s negative view of the near-term economy. Her keynote, while generally positive about the directions for HP and its technology, questioned the near term revenue impact of a depressed global economy. Many European Managing Directors have jumped in to express their bullishness on the economy and reiterate their expectations for coming out of this year’s CeBIT with substantial orders for everything from Wireless Network infrastructure products to regrographics and printing equipment. In a statement for CNN Guy de Panafieu, president and CEO for Groupe Bull SA countered, "We don't see evidence for the predictions made by Carly Fiorina in our figures so far." Group Bull has an order backlog in January that was 16% over what it was in January 2000. Visitors to CeBIT are echoing that sentiment in articles throughout the European press. They say that they are coming to CeBIT to upgrade current facilities and acquire new technology that will give them a competitive edge.