Sarkozy, Merkel to Open Cebit 2008

The Cebit trade show will be aimed more at professionals in 2008, and will have a special focus on French companies, the show's organizers said Friday. The show will be opened on March 4 by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The show's theme is part of a broader Franco-German collaboration on IT that will begin on Dec. 6 with the signature of a cooperation deal by officials of the two governments.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will also make an appearance at the show, the organizers said.

With halls filled with almost anything handling bits and bytes, including MP3 players, core network switches, service-oriented architectures and PCs for gamers, the show's content was veering off track in recent years.

Organizer Deutsche Messe hopes to remedy this with a number of measures in 2008. First, the show is shorter, running March 4 to 9, finishing on the Sunday evening so that the general public gets a chance to visit. But above all, it will be dedicated to professionals, said Sven Pr�ser, who is in charge of the show. Conferences and guides will target different markets including large enterprises and the public sector, and some themes will be particularly emphasized, such as telemedicine or green IT.

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