Kicking Off the Technology Year
CES fills the vacuum left by Comdex.The Consumer Electronics Showaka International CES or just CESkicks off Jan. 8 in Las Vegas in what has become the official start of the technology-industry year. The show has filled the vacuum left by Comdex when the latter closed the doors to its annual November tech fest in 2004 due to plummeting attendance. Microsofts Bill Gates, who used to have attendees hanging from the rafters to see his preshow Sunday night Comdex keynote, now delivers the same type of spiel prior to CES, also to a standing-room-only crowd. Its no surprise that the consumer nature of CES has survived, and thrived, while many larger tech confabs have bitten the dust or have shrunk considerably. "Consumer technology," for lack of a better term, has been leading technology innovation in this new millennium, as users demand more control over their access to servicesover the phone and into the home via the PC and television.
CES is also getting new attention from the enterprise IT audience. Its no secret that consumer technology ranging from blogs to podcasts to wikis to social networking sites has emerged in grass-roots fashion in many corporate enterprises, which we have covered in eWeek the past year. What corporate IT managers can expect to start sneaking into their companies in 2007 will probably be on display in some form at this weeks show.