HANOVER, Germany, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Cloud comupting took the center stage at the world's leading information and communication technology expo CeBIT that opened here Monday.
With the theme of "Work and Life with the Cloud," the annual "Davos of high-tech" underway in the German city was dominated by cloud computing, a package of technologies aimed at minimizing software installation on local computers and storing data online through various servers.
This year's expo was jointly inaugurated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, her counterpart from Turkey, this year's expo "partner country" represented by some 100 Turkish companies.
More than 4,200 exhibitors from 70 countries and regions are expected to present their latest innovations across all branches of digital work and life. Exhibitor participation recovered slightly after several years in decline, but still a far cry from 2001, when the expo attracted more than 8,000 exhibitors.
Cloud computing's prominence at the expo reflects its market potential, said expo organizers. According to market research data, global revenues for cloud services are expected to reach 68.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, up 16.6 percent year on year. By 2014, the revenue would reach 148.8 billion dollars.
Other hot topics during the CeBIT are no-glasses 3D technology, modular systems for disaster control and high-speed internet.
Organizers divided the trade fair into four platforms to lure different target groups -- the "CeBIT pro" showcases professional solutions for business operations, and the "CeBIT live" aims to catch private consumers' eyes through smart design.
The "CeBIT lab" explores the commercial potential of scientists' fresh ideas, while the "CeBIT gov" focuses on IT systems in modernizing public administration.
Meanwhile, the expo will hold a high-level international forum called "CeBIT Global Conferences 2011." Over 30 world-class speakers will discuss the trends and new challenges of the digital market, under the theme of "The power of creativity and innovation." Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, and Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company, are among the keynote speakers.
"CeBIT 2011 is the heart of the digital world and will show how rapidly the pulse of the IT industry is beating," said Ernst Raue of Deutsche Messe, the organizers of the conference.
The CeBIT, first held in 1986, is open to the public from March 1 to 5.