It's March, so it must be CeBIT, "the world's largest trade fair showcasing digital IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments". Next week, vendors, IT professionals, the public, analysts and the press — a crack squad from ZDNet UK among them — will descend upon Hannover for the annual 26-hall extravaganza that last year accommodated over 6,200 exhibitors and some 430,000 visitors.
Among the themes expected to emerge from this year's show are: virtualisation and IT infrastructure simplification; SOA (Service Oriented Architecture); telematics and navigation, including the latest on the EU's Galileo project; solutions for SMEs; security in all its forms; and a lot of noise from Microsoft and its software partners about Vista.
There will also, of course, be all manner of interesting bits of hardware, strange on-stand promotional antics, keynote addresses and press conferences. We'll do our very best to filter out the music from the cacophony of noise.