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CES Las Vegas Software Selection – Slim Pickings?

What is it about events in Las Vegas? Every vendor out there loves ‘em.
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Written by Adrian Bridgwater on

What is it about events in Las Vegas? Every vendor out there loves ‘em. Nicotine stained casinos, eternally long lines of wasted buffet food, long connecting corridors between never-ending meeting room locations. Give me Florida, London or anywhere on the Continent anytime. Still, size matters and Vegas has size in spades -- and money talks I guess.

Anyway, there’s plenty of news out there on the web for those who did or didn’t attend CES Las Vegas this week. But it’s hard for a software application development journalist to dig into many of these announcements as CES is, for the most part, rather more about showcasing products in their final form rather than explaining how they work.

For example, emanating from the partners of the Microsoft Auto platform PR engine room, Fiat unveiled an EcoDrive concept that enables drivers to minimise their impact on the environment by collecting data through a Blue&Me infotainment (if you will) USB gate and allows them to measure and compare their CO2 emissions via a web-based software solution. For this show that’s about as much as you can expect to learn – for more on how Blue&Me is a modular, updateable, voice-driven system typical of the type of work that is putting ever more technology into next-gen cars, you’ll have to do your own homework.

The Gibson Robot Guitar received a “Best of Show” honour on Sunday. All I could find out about this was that it is one of the most, “Trend setting, exciting and promising products of the year.” I’m sorry I asked.

Of more substance was news that Yahoo outlined a new mobile ecosystem strategy designed to allow developers and publishers new options to develop applications that can be planted on Yahoo pages and accessed on many different mobile handsets (as opposed to the software ‘stack’ approach behind Google Android or the customised device approach that Apple has opted for). The company’s Yahoo! Go 3.0 mobile home page is currently in Beta and early previews of its Mobile Developer Platform have put more meat on the bones for Jerry Yang’s vision to realign Yahoo’s position on the web.

So will CES continue to reside in Las Vegas (or as I once heard a flight attendant refer to it – “Lost Wages”) in all perpetuity? The Las Vegas Sun reports that exhibitors are becoming embittered over the rising cost of show attendance and all its associated costs. Will we see CES 2009 in Orlando with a special software engineering stream? Don’t push it.

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