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IT heavyweights show off their wares at Internet Expo

Internet is still viewed as a money-spinner by major companies

(Keystone Archive)

Switzerland's only trade fair devoted exclusively to the Internet is underway at Zurich's Messezentrum. Some 560 firms, including heavyweights such as Microsoft and IBM, are jostling for floor space to promote their virtual goods.

The Expo, known as "iEX", is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, and focuses on Internet products and services for corporate management, IT professionals and webmasters. Last year, nearly 50 per cent of visitors to the fair were employed in the Internet sector.

Some of Switzerland's biggest corporate names are participating in the event, including Swisscom, Sunrise and Credit Suisse. They are joining global giants like IBM, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.

Visitors can take part in any of 80 seminars, on topics ranging from E-Commerce and the Intranet to how to develop a successful E-Business strategy.

Last year's event attracted 36,000 visitors, and organisers are expecting an even better turnout this year, despite the hammering that dotcom shares have experienced on the stock market.

Last year, the Swiss telecommunications company, diAx, used Expo to unveil "Oleg", a virtual robot able to converse with humans.

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