The following is a blog entry by Tom Henderson. I've traveled with Tom to several CeBITS and I asked him to do some blogging this year on his take on CeBIT 2008.
Attendees to the re-vamped CeBIT 2008 Trade Fair and Conference will face a wintery forecast and a possible transit strike on their way to a newly re-vamped venue. Gone this year is the venerable Hall 1, replaced with an interesting re-shuffle of long time Hall 1 vendors, some who'd been there for more than a dozen years.
The battle of the enterprise space gets big this year at CeBIT, as Microsoft deploys one of its largest stands ever, all in the midst of Europe's arguable largest open source and Linux bastions--Germany. Indeed there are several thorns in Microsoft's side here, not the list of which is the Projekt LiMux, the conversion of the Munich/Regional Bavarian government to a completely open source (and nearly 100% Microsoft free) municipal government and public access infrastructure. Microsoft's Country Manager was replaced over the milieu associated with the Projekt.
Microsoft is by no means alone here, with newly redesigned space for SAP, IBM, and a newly-enlarged space for new Microsoft ally Novell. The glitz factor for top software and integration organizations is reminiscent of the heydays of COMDEX, InterOp, and PCExpo as competitive pressures and a strengthened European economy are bringing a surge of activity and capital asset purchasing--especially in the face of a weak US Dollar.
And saving OpEx has also evolved into strong 'Green' themes here. CeBIT's Future Park has several 'green consortia' represented, along with new and novel ideas on methods to cut power usage and increase eco-friendliness in an area that takes carbon emissions trading very seriously. With the price of premium fuel at the equivalent of $8.19/gal here, conservation is doubly drilled into the social consciousness. More on how it's not easy being green tomorrow.
Tom Henderson is principal researcher for ExtremeLabs, Inc., of Indianapolis. ExtremeLabs performs systems analysis and performance testing in medium- to high-end networking and microprocessor-based systems platforms.