Internet World UK underlined the technology burst that is occurring, especially in the important field of information search and access.
Muscat launched its Agent Alert programmable search tool at the show. The product allows search scripts to be developed and launched to constantly seek out postings of relevant documents, package them as emails and deliver them to the user.
Reuters showed the product in use as part of its Web-based Reuters Business Briefing, an online service that allows access to translations of articles published in magazines and newspapers around the world.
This kind of co-operation will help overcome the feeling of information overload that the Web engenders. The truth may be out there, but where?
For Oracle the truth is that the Network Computer (NC) will be the prime means of Web access, but the world has yet to be convinced.
The biggest disappointment is that the promise of sub-$500 machines have so far proved elusive, but IBM announced it is working on a single board solution that incorporates a Very Long Instruction Words (VLIW) processor that can handle Java code. The company claims this will bring down the price/performance ratio of both NCs and set-top boxes.
The Java translator has the decaffeinated development name of Daisy (cash cow or bullocks?). How long will it be before the Java team at IBM realise there's a coffee called Blue Mountain?
Among the many ISPs that exhibited, U-Net showed how things are developing on the international scene as it announced its local dialup strategy aimed at the globe-trotting executive. In conjunction with the i-Pass Alliance, the company has developed Easyroam IP which allows U-Net subscribers to log on through any of the i-Pass Points-of-Presence based in over 150 countries.
The alliance is akin to the ATM cash point co-operation between banks and offers the user considerable savings by making the international link, at local call charges, over the Internet rather than across the telecoms network.
As an initial event, the exhibition showed there is a healthy interest in what the Web has to offer businesses, despite reports claiming that UK companies are lagging behind their continental and US counterparts in Internet and intranet uptake.
In this prevailing British wait-and-see atmosphere, Internet World UK's role this year was evangelistic, but the signs, and hopes, are that the next show will be preaching to the converted.
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