Dear Jimmymac: I fear the marketers have hypnotized you into believing there has been no major change in the content of technical conferences like Hot Chips and ISSCC in the past decade. Beware any other subliminal messages you may be absorbing.
As for the role of markets, I was schooled by my forebears at EE Times on the importance of covering electronics as a techno-business with a good balance of both disciplines.
C'mon guys. This is nothing new. Been going on for many years. If you are just realizing this then I guess I am finally understanding why history tends to repeat itself.
By the way, with out markets, there are no microprocessors or hot chips.
Rick, another fantastic piece.
I would lay the blame at the feet of the event coordinators, rather than the companies. that's what companies do: they market. And if an event coordinator lays down strict guidelines (no existing products, no pitches, etc.) companies will toe the line. As more of them build out social networking and self-publishing strategies, most of the content there is focused completely on product and technology pitches. But even the oldest of companies needs validation from respected forums and publications. Unfortunately respected forums and publications may not realize this anymore.
In any case, this discussion just heated up with your post. You're doing the industry a service, as always!