- 6 Jan 07, 04:11 PM
A fleet of taxi cabs is buzzing around Vegas with adverts on their rooftop placards from Microsoft for its new Vista operating system - the "wow starts now" is the claim.
CES has always been about the wow and perhaps the ads signify a wider sense of anticipation for the next and the new that will be unveiled in the coming days.
But there's a creeping tone of caution emerging from some well-respected bloggers about what exactly we will see next week.
Jupiter analyst Michael Gartenberg - one of the best connected tech writers in the business - has said CES will be evolutionary not revolutionary.
"Don't look for lots of new stuff to be introduced, look instead for products that are reaching maturation to show how they can differ from other products by allowing for better interaction, managment, integration, form factor or price," he writes.
He makes the valid point that too much of technology is alienating to the average person and touts the emergence of the "digital consumer".
He is absolutely right. Anyone who has grappled with the dark arts of a wi-fi network, for example, knows that "plug in and play" is still a hope more than than a reality. And in this digital age we are supposed to be hooking up our lives into home networks.
Some hope with the problems that face the average consumer. I read earlier on our BBC CES blog that Click editor Richard Taylor has not only got his e-mail up and running but is also planning to stream TV content from his home Sky box via a Slingbox over the net to his laptop - or perhaps even to his mobile phone.
I'm glad he found the wi-fi network here at the motel, where the BBC is ensconced, easy to use. I had some real teething problems being able to connect to the BBC network. The solution was simple in the end but still took an hour of messing around with proxy servers.
And no digital consumer in this day and age should even have to know what a proxy server is!
Another tech pundit sounding a note of caution is Robert Scoble who asks if CES is "going to be a snore?".
He points out that the announcement of a hard disk holding a terabyte of information is the hottest story on TechMeme , a website which acts as a barometer for tech interests.
His point is that if a hard drive is the talk of CES just a few days before the show, then perhaps we should not expect too much.
Perhaps we should all be a little more realistic.
One of the commenters on this blog certainly agrees.
"Another huge tech-fest of useless, glitzy gadgets coming up, brought to you by our dynamic corporations, to dazzle the starry-eyed sheep into letting go of their hard-earned bucks in the dumb hope that it will somehow make their lives better."
I don't share his pessimism but appreciate his comment. We've had a good start to the comments so far and hope people will continue to leave their thoughts as CES unfolds.