The big news at International Online in London in mid-December was CD-ROM. More than half of the 150 exhibit booths featured the technology. While U.S. titles represented half of the offerings, there also were significant numbers of German, British, French, and Dutch products.
The emphasis on CD-ROM comes after years of hesitancy about CD-ROM. Roger Bilboal, Chairman of Learned Information Ltd. and' sponsor of International Online, said of CD-ROM: “This business is still more glamorous than its true size warrants.”
John C. Gale of Information Workstation Group echoed Bilboal's disappointment by saying that only 600,000 drives have been sold and half of these are being used for games applications.
The recent growth in the industry in Europe reflects both a European Community push of the technology and the much higher telecommunications costs which prevail throughout Europe.
The total number of CD-ROM titles now available in Europe is 1522, up from 817 last year. The number is greater than the number available in the U.S. More than 58 percent of the titles available in Europe are U.S. imprints, six percent each are
German and British, five percent each are French and Italian, and four percent each are Japanese and Dutch.