CeBIT is an annual event that takes places each spring at Hanover, Germany. It ranks as the world’s largest computer expo and trade fair in the world of IT. As expected, the dominant trend involved ways the industry could go green. But most importantly, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, delivered the first keynote speech. In it, he predicted an upcoming fifth revolution in computing and IT.
Contrary to the fact that CeBIT is still considered the biggest fair in the world (area: 450,000 m² or 5 million ft²; visitors: 700,000), lately it has started to lose some of its famous edge, mostly because CES is held each January, while the date for IFA is in September. Companies often come to the conclusion that CES and IFA give them sufficient exposure and, thus, don't show any interest in CeBIT. This year the following companies were notable for their absence: Creative, Sony, Sharp, Philips, Lenovo, Dell and Nokia.
Nevertheless, the amount of action that happens at CeBIT each year is, simply put, overwhelming. This year the organization even increased the number of technical conferences and brainstorming events that always contrast with the plain exhibitions. This year's most widely publicized and discussed event happened right at the beginning of CeBIT. And yes, we're talking about Steve Ballmer's opening speech.
As the title of this article suggests, the scope of this article is not to give detailed CeBIT 2008 coverage discussing the latest and greatest expositions of the innovative companies; if that's what you are looking for then you should check out John Aubrey's (jkabaseball) coverage of it, coming soon to Dev Hardware.
On the other hand, this is the article for you if you are anxiously waiting to read a full-length article tackling Ballmer's really provocative vision, according to which we're entering a new period, another upcoming cycle in the evolution of computing and technology, and based on his predictions that this should be the fifth revolution. Each revolution takes place every seven years or so. The last, fourth one, begin at 2002 and now we're in 2008 - get the hint?!
"If this 7-year pattern holds true, we should be at the end of revolution number four and the beginning of a fifth revolution. And . . . if you look at what's going on in the industry and in the marketplace, that's exactly what's happening."~Steve Ballmer
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