To put it plainly and simply, CeBit America sucked! Let me begin by stating that I’ve gone to PC Expo’s in NYC since the early 90’s when I was in middle school. I recall Andy Grove talking about the “Ubiqutous PC” when the Pentium chips were being just released. Those were the glory days of PC Expo (and the such). There was so much new technology around. Everyone was enthusiastic about the products they had. But as I said, each year there was a few new and interesting products coming out. Over the past few years, I’ve really seen such a decline in the quality of PC Expo in NYC.
The first and most noticeable thing is the exhibition floor keeps shrinking. No, not because the Javits Center is getting smaller from year-to-year, but rather less and less vendors keep showing up. Secondly, the number of “free stuff” that vendors give out has been on a decline. Ok, I don’t really care about getting more pens or T-Shirts or other do-dads from vendors, but come on some of those things are cool (also what would some corporate employees use to vouch for the fact that they really did attend the show? ;)). Thirdly, and most importantly, technical content and/or showcase of new products or technologies. Honestly, when the coolest thing that I saw this year was a computer case with a fish tank attached to it, you know stuff is just wrong. I suppose that Google pen was pretty cool too (it has LED light in it). Ok, also the NTT DoCoMo 3G phones from Japan were cool too.
I think it’s a sad day at an exhibition when it takes you nearly 30 minutes to find a vendor giving out free bags to carry brochures and stuff in! Ridiculous. I looked around for the Microsoft booth, and they had nothing setup! It was a partner pavillion with only Toshiba there demoing the Tablet PC. Ok, granted the Tablet PC is awesome, but what about demos of Office 2003, Windows 2003 Server, etc? Fine, I have both of these, but still it would have been cool to sit through a demo of Office 2003. All in all Jon and I were able to walk around the entire exhibit floor in about 2.5 hours. If you ask me, that’s pretty pathetic considering that in the past I’ve spent 2 days at the exhibits.
(One note, I didn’t attend any of the sessions since I couldn’t afford any of them. The sessions may actually be worthwhile, unlike the exhibit floor.)