Laptops galore await show attendees in Hanover

MSI is expected to launch a laptop with 3D support and SAP will make an effort to appeal to the show's IT executive attendees

A raft of new netbooks, laptops and computers with 3D support will be on display at Cebit in Hanover, Germany, next week. Google will use the trade show to push its Street View map technology and SAP's new co-CEO will take the stage in a keynote address.

Support for 3D continues to be one of the biggest trends in consumer electronics. Micro-Star International (MSI) plans to unveil an all-in-one PC with a 24-inch touchscreen that can display 3D. The company also plans to show its first notebook with 3D technology. The product will come with a 15.6-inch, 120Hz 3D HD screen. In both cases users will need to wear glasses to see the 3D images.

Netbooks will also have a presence at the show. Asus is, for example, expected to expand its line of Eee PC netbooks.

Cebit has been struggling during the last couple of years. The number of companies appearing this year has dropped to 4,157, compared to about 4,292 last year, and that number was down 26 percent from 2008. Still, Cebit has managed to attract about 300 new companies, including Google and Amazon Web Services, according to a statement.

Google will peddle its Street View service, which hasn't been launched in Germany because of privacy concerns. Michael Jones, chief technology advocate who specializes in Google Earth and Maps, will walk the audience through the product, which shows users street view images in Google's map products, at an event. The company will also give an update on how the privacy discussions are progressing.

Google's Nelson Mattos, who is in charge of product management and engineering in Europe, Middle East and Africa, will be speaking on the evolution of an open, social, mobile and transparent Web.

Amazon Web Service is using Cebit to up its European presence. So far, it has grown because of word-of-mouth, according to David Bradshaw, research manager for software and services at IDC in Europe.

However, now Amazon is facing stiffer competition in Europe from a growing number of telecom operators that are looking to offer Web services, according to Milind Govekar, research vice president at Gartner. It will also look to forge closer relationships with large software vendors, a move that could also help it get more users in Europe, Govekar said.

To turn its fortunes around, Cebit has decided to focus more on enterprise IT and lure as many CIOs as possible. German ERP (enterprise resource planning) giant SAP hopes to capitalize on the increased executive attendance. SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott will speak during the opening ceremony and his counterpart, co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, will also attend the show, according to a Cebit spokeswoman.

The two took over SAP on Feb. 7 after Léo Apotheker resigned. SAP is hoping to rebuild customer relations and foster more innovation at the company, it said after the management change.

Cebit will run from March 2 to March 6, which is one day shorter than last year.

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