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Businesses gain Internet insight

Emirates businessmen got a free insight into how the Internet can benefit them at the 'interactive' conference hosted by The New Media and Sun Microsystems today.

Over 250 people attended the ‘interactive’ Internet conference held today, to learn more about how the Internet can work for businesses.

The event, held at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Centre and sponsored by Sun Microsystems and The New Media, combined lectures and series of break out tracks that discussed technological developments including development, venture capital, WAP and marketing.

The event, which was held in association with Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.com, was opened by Mr Ahmed bin Bayat, the CEO of Dubai Internet City. He spoke of the need for investment and talent if the full business advantage is to be leveraged from the Internet in the Middle East saying that Dubai must seize the opportunity to go forward.

Anne Marie Roussel, senior analyst with Gartner Group, discussed the challenges facing the region, including regulatory and tax constraints, societal barriers and the cost of telecommunications. She warned that the days of the pureplay Internet company, and of the pure bricks and mortar operator are coming to an end, and that hybrid companies will be the future, and that the lessons had already been learnt in the US that meant that the days of an Internet free of competition were over.

The keynote speeches were rounded up by Hellmuth Broda, chief technologist of Sun Microsystems EMEA and a member of the Sun Vision council. He made some predictions for the future saying that Sun bet on the Internet, Java and massive bandwidth back in 1995, and had been proven right, and were now ready to stake the business on three new developments: integrated web appliances, massive scalability, and MAD – mass access consumer devices.

He said that the combination of ‘everything to the web’ and pervasive wireless Internet devices would see the average adult consuming 30GB of information per day by 2008, through digital TV, online news and mobile information sources.

The rest of the morning and afternoon were taken up by various six different technology tracks, sponsored by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Brightpoint, iPlanet, Doubleclick, the Sun Developer Connection and Oracle.

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