Guten Morgen from CeBIT. At least I think it's CeBIT.
Veterans of Hanover's úber tradeshow live by certain truths, cheif among them: if it's snowing, it's CeBIT. Yet this morning, the sun is shining on a cold but beautiful second day proper of the largest technology show in Europe. And that's not all - the place feels empty.
Based purely on first-impressions, anecdotal evidence (and after five hours of sleep, that's all you're getting), CeBIT is far from the show it once was. Why? A combination of economic uncertainty, the creeping influence of Mobile World Congress and the fact that globalisation means most tier one manufacturers launch products at CES these days.
The empirical evidence is damning, with only 4,000 exhibitors representing a 26 percent drop on last year - see 'CeBIT attendance lowest in a decade'. And first hand, it seems somehow worse. A sad illustration of global recession.
Where last year rush hour trams were crowded (or as crowded as things get in Germany), today my colleague and I could both get seats. And the walls are strangely bare of advertising (trust me, when you write for a living, you view lack of advertising as a bad thing).
But it's possible that a leaner, greener CeBIT is no bad thing. The technology world needs to slim down to save itself and the planet, and the early news coming out of CeBIT - zero-watt PCs and, well, Arnie (Stop Whining About Economy, Says Schwarzenegger) - is defiantly green tinged.
There's clearly still lots to see here at CeBIT, as vendors and manufacturers try to get to grips with an increasingly cruel world. We'll be reporting from the show all week, and you can follow our updates on Twitter.com/PCAdvisor.
Look, no snow...
...but not many people, either