dot-commentary™: Another show, another Sony

by Reads (5,936)

CES Are there no surprises anymore?

In days past, those of us not under non-disclosure agreements would look forward to the first day of a computer trade show like children on Christmas Eve. We guessed at what awaited us, but we really didn’t know for sure. It was exciting.

Not anymore. Have you noticed the trend these days among companies? Rather than surprise us, they’ve chosen instead to tell us exactly what is wrapped in those boxes under the tree. Not only that, they offer us high-quality pictures and detailed specifications of what lies inside. So much for surprises.

But here’s the kicker. On the “big day” we anxiously tear away the wrapping and inside we find…the very same glossy pictures and spec sheets. Seems the actual gifts won’t be available until spring or summer. Boo-hoo.

Well, that’s exactly what’s been happening lately, as witnessed at last week’s CES. Garmin, Samsung, and Hitachi all showed us what was inside the box days before the event. And, lo and behold, at the show we discovered that those devices would not be arriving until much later this year. Thanks a lot, Santa.

Only Sony, which has developed a reputation among journalists for playing its cards extremely close to its vest, seems capable of surprises. Its latest CLIE, the NZ90, was the only “secret” handheld at CES.

Well, at least there were some cool presents at Macworld. The new Powerbooks surprised us all (be sure to catch the funny commercial with Yao Ming and Verne Troyer at Apple’s website), as did the new Safari web browser. But it seems that, more and more, we’re experiencing the death of the trade show. No wonder, if you’re not going to be surprised, at least a little bit, why go?

But I’m not about to give up hope. My birthday is Monday. Think someone will surprise me?

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