Reputed as the world's second-largest PC trade fair with the most comprehensive categories and newest products, Computex Taipei 2009, running June 2-6, 2009, is estimated to create some NT$660 billion (US$19.76 billion at US$1: NT$33.4) in business opportunities during the five-day exhibition period, according to industry insiders.
Despite the uncertain global economy, Computex Taipei still hosts 1,700 exhibitors this year, with 4,600 booths in four exhibition halls of the TWTC (Taipei World Trade Center). As many as 35,000 foreign visitors are expected, who are expecting the newest ICT (Information and communication technologies)-based products to be unveiled by various heavyweight companies.
Microsoft, Intel Add Weight to Computex
Microsoft and Intel are unquestionably the most influential trendsetters in the PC software and hardware segments. Showing the importance of the upcoming debut of the Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft sends Steven Guggenheimer, the vice president of its Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, and Kevin Dallas, general manager of Windows Embedded Business Unit, to Computex Taipei to personally do the product presentations; while Intel, with the CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) platform hitting the notebook PC market, doesn't hold back on its presentations this year.
Microsoft has officially released its Windows 7 RC (release candidate) for registered developers to download copies through the Internet early this May, indicating that the Windows 7 full version will soon hit the consumer market in August or September at the earliest. In other words, Computex Taipei is the best stage for the Windows 7 before the official debut later this year. The firm also teams up with global-caliber PC brands, including Asus, Acer, HP and Dell, to demonstrate live PCs installed with the Windows 7 at the show.
Seeing Computex Taipei as the most important event for the ICT industry in the Asian Pacific area, Intel sends Sean Maloney, executive vice president, and Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president, to the show to promote its CULV platform and newest chipsets. Undoubtedly, movements of the Wintel (an insider buzzword for a computer built with Microsoft's software and Intel's hardware) surely adds spark to the show this year.
Chinese Exhibitors A First
Computex Taipei this year officially welcomes mainland Chinese exhibitors for the first time, as the show organizer, TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council), has invited some big-name companies from China, including Huawei, Malata Group and Tsinghua Tongfang. Also, a few Chinese buyers, including Lenovo, Founder Group, Newland Group and Aigo, have shown intense interest to visit the show.
Living up to its reputation as the showcase for the newest, most innovative ICT-based products and applications, this year's Computex includes notebook PCs based on the CULV platform, netbook PCs and All-in-one PCs with touch screens. The biggest hits with visitors are likely the CULV-based laptops, with Acer and Asustek unveiling theirs at the show.
With wireless Internet access being ever more popular, Computex Taipei is holding the e21Forum 2009 alongside the Computex, with the support of Intel, a major WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) technology investor. Featuring high mobility and stability in accessing the Internet, WiMAX is believed to become one of the most suitable networking technologies for netbook PCs and related MIDs (mobile Internet devices). Amid the backdrop of Taiwan being an eager promoter and developer of the technology over the past few years, Intel demonstrates live WiMAX connection at the show.
In addition, Windows 7 applications for all-in-one PCs and touch panels are also the must-see products at Computex Taipei, with Asustek, Micro-Star International Co. and Shuttle Inc. launching such products. Also, touch panel suppliers, such as Elan Microelectronics Corp., and related component makers, including ENE Technology Inc. (touch panel ICs) and PixArt Imaging Inc. (chip image sensors), are expected to impress foreign buyers.
(by Steve Chuang)