Windows 10 and the Internet of Things headline IFA Berlin

Brid-Aine Parnell

Thursday 10 September 2015

A virtual tsunami of new Windows 10 devices and health and home-related smart devices go on show in Europe, along with smartphones, wearables and other high-tech gadgetry

The dust has almost settled at Messe Berlin, home once again to the long-running top European consumer electronics show IFA.

Although there were no hugely innovative inventions on show this year, attendees were treated to a glimpse at the growing IoT market – particularly in terms of the connected home and health wearables and devices – and a virtual avalanche of new PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones, many from the new Windows 10 stable.

Lenovo came to IFA with refreshes in almost all their biggest lines, including new additions to the ThinkCentre and Yoga range, such as the ThinkCentre M series of desktops for small and medium-sized businesses of which the M900 Tiny was one – “the most powerful desktop per cubic inch”.

Lenovo wasn’t the only company that packed its new Windows 10 lines for Berlin, however. Pretty much all the major PC manufacturers had devices running the new OS and one of the keynotes of the event came from Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the OEM division at Microsoft, who talked about how Windows 10 was driving the company’s mission to create the right platforms and services for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Interconnected devices and the Internet of Things was once again a huge part of IFA this year, with lots of new smartwatches on show and almost every kind of smart home device imaginable making an appearance – including ones that weren’t for your house it all, but for your garden! Health-related smart devices were also big, from sleep sensors built into alarm clocks to home appliances focused on healthy eating.

But it’s not just what you see at IFA that matters, but also what the industry is talking about. EU Digital Commissioner Guenther Oettinger used his appearance at the opening gala of the show to call for technology to do more to add value in Europe. Pointing out that companies like Nokia and Siemens had lost out in the mobile phone sector despite early dominance, he said that Europe needed digital unity.

“Currently we have fragmented markets. If we can make the digital union work we will be the world’s most attractive marketplace,” he said.

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