The first (CeBIT) Centrum fur Buro- und InformationsTechnik (CeBIT) exhibition, the world’s largest computer expo, is held in Hanover, Germany. The event attracts 2,142 exhibitors and 334,400 visitors. The event was previously a part of the annual industry exhibition, but beginning with this year, it is held separately, a month after the industry fair, due to its increasing popularity. Centrum fur Buro- und InformationsTechnik translates to Centre of Office and Information technology. Visit the official CeBIT website.
The Oracle Corporation goes public with revenues of US$55 million. Visit the official Oracle website.
Tim Berners-Lee wrote the “Information Management” paper which became the foundation of the World Wide Web. 
Microsoft announces the acquisition of Colusa Software Inc., a developer of object-oriented programming tools. Colusa’s primary product, Omniware, allows users to download programs from the Internet and run them in a fully protected memory space. Industry analysts speculate that such software could be used to compete with Sun Microsystems’ Java.
Namco, Poligon Pictures, and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) found Dream Pictures Studio in a joint venture with a combined capitalization of ¥200 million (US$1.6 million) to focus on the production of fully computer generated feature films.
The National Semiconductor Corp. completes the sale of Fairchild Semiconductor. Many consider Fairchild the original Silicon Valley company.
US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) makes the previously voluntary incorporation of (V-chip) filtering technology into televisions mandatory. The technology provides parents with an embedded ratings system with which to gauge the suitability of programming for children and to allow parents to automatically block unsuitable programming. Visit the official FCC website.
Handspring’s Visor EdgeHandspring introduces the Visor Edge handheld computer, featuring an 33MHz MC68VZ328 DragonBall processor, 8MB RAM, a 4-bit grayscale 160×160-pixel display, and version 3.5.2H of the Palm OS. Weight: 4.8 ounces
AMD introduces twelve new Athlon XP-M Thoroughbred mobile processors based on Centrino architecture, with 256KB Level-2 Caches, 266MB Front-Side Buses, and speeds of 1.66, 1.8, 2.0, and 2.13 GHz, respectively.
Major notebook computer manufacturers announce the availability of models based on Intel’s Pentium M processor.
Microsoft purchases Kidaro, a company that helps businesses manage their collection of virtual machines.
IBM purchases security software maker Encentuate. The company develops two-factor authentication software that’s designed to let users log on with a single sign-on to all their other applications.
AOL Announces it will acquire Bebo for $850 Million.
Dell announces a new line of computers using the Penryn chip.
GoDaddy.com closes Ratemycop.com because of supposed Bandwidth issues. An accusation was made that the site was shut down because of the content within.
Poloroid announces they will stop production of the Instamatic cameras.
Hulu launches in the US.
Phillip Reitinger – former Microsoft Exec – is appointed to the DHS. His main task is to find the next National Cybersecurity Center director.
Former Google Exec, Tim Armstrong, becomes AOL CEO.
A Botnet, bought and used by the BBC, was found.
Hotmail goes down for over 18 hours. A failed firmware update was to blame.
Neil Young’s PonoPlayer Kickstarter begins. This is a media player with high resolution audio for audiophiles. The Kickstarter exceeded the goal with $6 million in pledges. Price $399 ($300 Kickstarter price)