This year's Comdex in Las Vegas was a very different event from the gadgetfests of yesteryear, with a heavier emphasis on business.
The general feeling was that numbers were down but quality was up. Comdex 2003 had 40,000 registered attendees, down from last year's 70,000, while exhibitors had shrunk from 900 to 500.
IBM, which pulled out of Comdex in the mid-1990s, was back to provide speakers, and Dell, absent for five years, had a stand. Intel returned with a booth inside Microsoft's pavilion.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates put "seamless and secure computing" at the heart of his keynote, claiming it will be available by the end of the decade.
"As we move forward, we've got to get the fundamentals right. One of those is trustworthy computing," he said.
"We've got to give the IT department the assurance that their software will be reliable and secure without spending the man hours they do today on patching. It's a challenge, but it's do-able."
Other revelations included:
- Display maker NEC-Mitsubishi unveiled two new LCD displays, along with new video display configuration products.
- Sun will ship AMD Opteron processor-based SunFire systems loaded with versions of its Solaris, Java or Linux.
- HP unveiled its new printing and copying portfolio. This included a copier-based line of multi-function printers, such as the HP LaserJet 9055 and 9065 products. HP also launched products for document workflow management.
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