Big Apple, small PCs
June 22, 1999
June 22, 1999
by Tom Spring
(IDG) -- You can't be too connected, too mobile, or too integrated this week as 500 computer and software companies jam New York's Javits Center with the next wave of PCs, gadgets, and Web ware.
The trade show, which opens Tuesday and runs through Thursday, should draw a record crowd of more than 100,000 people who will prowl the half-million square feet of the Javits Center's convention room floors to see the very latest the industry can offer.
The official theme this year: Technology that is rugged, mobile, and connected, says Randy Zane of Miller Freeman, the exposition's sponsor.
"Over the last two years we've seen a big jump in mobile technology products shown at our Expos," Zane says. Companies like Psion, Qualcomm, Omni Point, and 3Com will be promoting their mobile network devices and technology.
The industry's old guard also will be present in force. IBM, Compaq, and Microsoft will be the largest exhibitors, Zane says, followed by Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Hewlett-Packard, and other big guns.
Among product highlights, Gateway and Packard Bell NEC will both be flaunting their recently debuted all-in-one sleek PCs.
Vendors will face off with dueling rewritable DVD products--with Sony and Hewlett-Packard pushing DVD+RW, and the incompatible DVD-RAM being backed by Matsushita, Toshiba, Hitachi, and others.
In the shiny and tiny department, voice recognition company Dragon Systems will be showing off a new mobile dictation product that will allow you to create reports or draft e-mail on the go. Psion will be showing off its recently announced palmtop device called 5mx, which lets users browse the Net and do e-mail on the go.
On the software front, Adobe will demonstrate Photoshop 5.5, the recently announced upgrade of its image editing program. And DeLorme will push its AAA Map'n'Go 5.0 voice navigation system. The program works with a global positioning system receiver and allows you to hear directions as you drive.
Walking and Talking
As usual, PC Expo will not lack for keynote addresses from industry bigwigs. Marc Andreessen, AOL chief technology officer, will talk up the Net economy (hint: AOL has a major role). Robert Herbold, Microsoft executive vice president, will discuss the future of workplace information (hint: buy Microsoft Office 2000).
PC Expo is second in the United States only to the giant Comdex trade show held each November in Las Vegas. According to Zane, it is the largest corporate technology event on the East Coast and one of the top 50 shows in the country.
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