Packed house at MWC

18 Feb 2011

This was Barcelona week and there has been a flurry of press releases and news emanating from the Catalonian stronghold.

The Insider has spent a lot of time talking to delegates, press people and exhibitionists (I think that’s the right term for the people working the stands, especially CBOSS), to get the real gossip.

Firstly, with 60,000 attendees MWC this year is BIG. It’s definitely bigger than the last three years at least. The throngs of people in every hall are so large that at times it has been difficult to even get in the main entrances.

The Insider ‘attendee gauge’ is to check cloakroom space at the venue. On Tuesday, every cloak room except that in the bowels of Hall 4 was filled to capacity. Them’s big numbers, as they say.

Of course, the Nokia and Microsoft news dominated the stage on Monday with Steve Ballmer’s keynote infomercial shared with Nokia’s Stephen Elop and rather scary presentation of Windows Phone 7 upcoming features.

Let me premise the following statements by stating that the next iteration of WP7 looks great and addresses many of the features missing in the first release.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore was tasked with showing off the new stuff, but his demonstration to the mobile world’s most discerning audience did not go as planned for Joe when he curtailed one presentation due to ‘network congestion’ in the auditorium.

Thirty seconds later though, he was able to show a ‘live’ comparison of an unreleased HTC phone running Internet Explorer 9 against an iPhone. Who’d have ever thought to see a Microsoft employee using an iPhone publicly?

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