There is always a buzz about something at Comdex. You hear it at the parties, in the taxi queues, bars, and casinos. ZDNet lists in order of strength of swing on the Comdex 'Buzz-O-Meter' the top five talking points from the world's biggest computer show.
Number 1 -- The Internet
No surprise that the Net recorded the strongest swing on the Buzz-O-Meter. It has dominated every Comdex for the last three years, and this year its dominance of buzz is even greater. Last year it was the software companies who felt they couldn't talk about any new software product unless it had a Net or Web aspect. This year every other product, all PCs, and all peripherals need it too. The Web rules.
Number 2 -- Windows CE
A surprising one, since there are more geeks walking around Comdex with Palm Pilot's in their pockets than CE devices. That may be so, but CE is now housed in range of sexy 'Notebooks' -- like the HP Journada. The buzz about them is that they offer word processing and Web access, and for many people that is enough. No Windows 95/98 on these devices -- but who cares about that? The Web is all you need. That's what the buzz is saying.
Number 3 - DVD
The phrase on everyone's lips in connection with DVD is "ready for prime time". DVD is one of the slowest starters the PC industry has seen, but it is now registering a strong buzz at Comdex. Everyone seems to think it's going to be big, with major vendors planning to offer DVD in hardware configurations and software is starting to ship in volume too.
Number 4 - LCD
"I want one." That is what you hear people saying all over the show floor, as various vendors offer ever sexier, slimmer, and sharper LCD displays. The buzz is so strong for LCD that it surely can't be long before manufacturers start driving the prices down. Big buzz about this one.
Number 5 -- Flat-panel speakers
You've bought the sexy slim LCD screen, but your speakers spoil the line, sticking out several inches into your "less is more" work space. What do you do? The buzz at Comdex is about flat panel technology -- not just for screens. Lots of vendors are showing flat panel speakers, and as you would expect there is an "I want one" buzz about these too.