First Thoughts: A Look at this Year's Sponsors

Taking a look at the sponsor list of this year's show, the first thing that strikes me is that there are a lot more sponsors than previous years. If Citrix or Carlson Marketing hired a new sponsor person, they made a good move.

Taking a look at the sponsor list of this year's show, the first thing that strikes me is that there are a lot more sponsors than previous years. If Citrix or Carlson Marketing hired a new sponsor person, they made a good move.

There are an unprecedented six platinum sponsors. I can't remember a show that had this many vendors willing to shell out $75,000 each. Dell, HP, and Microsoft are there as expected. Softricity is also a platinum sponsor, and they definitely have a good story to tell. (I received an email from them saying that they'll be announcing a new product at the show, so stay tuned...) The final two platinum sponsors, Neoware and Wyse, really surprised me. I guess I wasn't really expecting to see thin client vendors shelling out so much cash. I will be interesting to see how they leverage their investment.

As for the gold sponsors, there are some interesting things here too. I wrote a blog entry several months ago noting that both Immarsat and Verizon were gold sponsors (which surprised me considering Verizon was only an exhibitor sponsor in years past). Not wanting to be left out, Sprint has also signed on as a gold sponor. (Footnote: I'm doing all of these blog updates via a Verizon Wireless Experss Network PC Card connection that I pay for myself.)

Another big surprise in the gold sponsor list is AMD. Quite honestly, I haven't ever put too much thought into the CPU vendor for a MetaFrame server. I've spent time fighting for HP v. Dell v. IBM, but I never really cared about the CPU (although I guess they've always been Intel anyway). Knowing that AMD paid $40,000 to be here is really intriguing, and I'm certainly going to find out how they plan to make use of their investent in the show.

Another gold sponsor that surprises me is Uniprint. I've always thought of them as a one-trick pony that uses somewhat antiquated technology. I'm betting we can expect some big news from them due to their gold investment.

Looking to the silver sponsors, there are several companies that I have never, ever heard of, including ComputerLab, Radware, OpenNetwork, Saflink, WholeSecurity, and WM Software. I'll be visiting them to see what I've been missing.

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