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CeBIT 2000: Rewind to CeBIT 99

A special look back at the highs and lows of last year's Hannover tech fest
Written by Justin Pearse, Contributor and  Will Knight, Contributor

Come back with us through the mists of time as we take a look at CeBIT 99. We highlight the news that tickled the fancy of visitors to last year's show and has gone on to revolutionise our lives. But as well as these high-tech success stories, there were also the inevitable technological flops.

Symbian announced its first heavyweight support for its EPOC operating system, with Ericsson showing its first smartphone based on the OS.

Before the first WAP specs were finalised, Motorola showed its new range of digital communication products and promised Internet-browsing capability across its entire digital mobile phone range in 2000.

Several months later, manufacturers began abandoning the OS in droves. Instead, Microsoft's Windows CE made quite an impression at CeBIT 99, with companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Casio and Philips showing CE-based devices.

However, a year is a long time in the tech world, as these CeBIT 99 flops illustrate. For example, the Internet Microwave from NCR hasn't exactly found its way into kitchens across the world. The first and only microwave to offer both Internet access and food-heating functionality, the oven looked certain to become a hit.

IBM and DaimlerChrysler also teamed-up to produce a fully computerised office in the back seat of a car. It might not seem like everybody's idea of an ideal working environment, but Thomas Kratz, of DaimlerChrysler's van division, said in a statement: "In the future, we believe that all vehicles should have such a platform as a standard integrated component, offered at a reasonable price."

For full coverage, see ZDNet UK's CeBIT 2000 special.

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