In the glorious November sunshine that blessed the Gartner Symposium in Cannes this month, delegates were treated to an insight into the future role of IT in business, and heard the views of Michael Dell, Microsoft's European chief, and Gartner's top analysts.
While Gartner predicted a coming vendor bloodbath as more companies merge or go bust, Dell explained why he considered his company to be top of its class.
And just days after the US finally delivered its antitrust ruling in the long-running Microsoft case, the Redmond giant's European head, Jean-Philippe Courtois, said he would like to see the EU's case over by Christmas.
Taking the opportunity to promote the tablet PC, about which Gartner raised serious doubts, Courtois also told delegates that the total cost of ownership of Windows was cheaper than Linux.
In-between, Gartner's analysts outlined their vision of the real-time enterprise, where companies will act faster and smarter in the ever more competitive world in which they operate.
If not, the analyst warned, they will fall behind their rivals.
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