We have no official figures, but from our visits between the stands and from the impressions of the exhibitors themselves, Expo 2002 is having a success beyond expectations.With an IT market in general, it can be surprising to see how compared to the two-year-old event still held in an expansionary phase of the economy and interest in technology, this year's Expo will see an increase in the exhibition space and the presentation of a great variety of hardware and software for Mac.
If the hardware is not in itself a surprise given that the peripherals use common connection standards between Mac and PC that only in recent months has discovered Firewire at the mass level and that any peripheral with low transmission speed requests It is available with USB interface, what amazes even the most savvy Italian user is the remarkable presence of software solutions, perhaps cross-platform, perhaps Unix-derived (thanks to the easy porting to Mac OS X) that cover fields in which the Mac is not traditionally strong. An example for everyone is the availability of general accounting packages or dedicated to various types of users that are advertised here with the means and the evidence of packages for graphics. This is reflected not only in the stands of the Hall 4 of the fair but also in the city's stores.If you have the opportunity to visit the Virgin Megastore of the Champs Elyse (open until late in the center of Pa rigi) you can find multi-platform packages of all kinds on display: from management to Education, from virtual visits to cities and historical places to encyclopedias.
Returning to the Expo, after a first day in which the crowd was made up of the curious who happened to be there thanks to the resonance of the media event of the keynote, to the advertising hype with billboards and editorials of the major newspapers and the most avid fans returning from the presentation of Steve Jobs, it's time for the "competence" of visitors who come to the fair not only to browse but to directly buy computers, peripherals, accessories and crowd the virtual megastores or small stores to take advantage of the offers advertised in endless multipage lists (yes see our photo shoot on this page).
The competence amazes even the exhibitors consulted by us: the user who wanders among the informed stands, aims straight at solutions, asks intelligent questions and when he does not know the Mac he tries to put the operator in difficulty with targeted comparisons with the PC world.
This preparation probably also thanks to a good level of information thanks to the numerous websites in the language that crowd the French internet panorama and to the publication of numerous Mac magazines: there is even one dedicated to the "Unix skills" of the computer with the Apple named Precision Mac!
What is perhaps still missing from the Expo, as a counterpoint to size and interest, is the "European" dimension of the event: even if this year all the stands are also perfectly spoken English and the prices are all with the inevitable indication in Euro there is the evident difficulty in making the Expo accessible to those who do not know the two main languages of the continent: even companies like Sonnet that two years ago had equipped themselves with Italian brochures now rely on the preparation and the sympathy of some operator who defends himself with our idiom.
Apple has chosen not to officially participate in non-specialist fairs in our continent and this bears fruit in the success of events like this for those who are eager to know all aspects of the Mac world, what we hope you dedicate will make you feel more his presence at national events such as the London one in November or our spring Digital Culture.