(dpa) - CeBIT, the expo that begins Tuesday in Germany, remains the "most important and widest-ranging computer-industry show in the world," a Microsoft executive said Monday.
Achim Berg, head of Microsoft Germany, said this was underlined by the attendance and speeches at CeBIT by Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer and chief operating officer Kevin Turner.
The March 4-9 trade fair in Hanover has been hit by declining bookings and has lost many consumer brands. It has re-organized this year with a focus on business needs.
In an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, Berg said Ballmer and Turner "are specially coming to Europe for CeBIT," pointing out that CeBIT influenced the computing market in both Europe and Asia.
He said Microsoft perceived no tension between addressing corporate computing decision-makers at CeBIT and also appealing to individual consumers.
The US-based company is focussing its corporate marketing at CeBIT on new products such as Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft SQL 2008.
Consumer-oriented publicity events will include a "campus for information technology fitness."
He said CeBIT was also valued as a sign that the computing industry was still a growing business.
Microsoft was "very satisfied" at the uptake of its newest operating system for personal computers, Windows Vista, introduced at the start of last year, Berg said.
Many corporate customers have not adopted the system and have stayed with its predecessor Windows XP. Microsoft said in January it had sold more than 100 million Vista licences.
Berg said individual users had been the motivating force in the first year of Vista sales.
"That's a normal cycle," he said. The release of the first service pack, SP1, would encourage more corporate users to migrate to Vista, he said, adding, "SP1 increases the speed tangibly and has a better user interface."