Apple will exhibit at the essential IT show for US government, FOSE 2005.

FOSE (Federal Office Systems Exposition) runs between April 5 and 7. it's described as an event, "where government meets technology" and takes place at the Washington Convention Centre.

Apple's decision to attend the show - at which it first exhibited last year - could be shrewd: analysts at Input believe the US federal government will increase its IT spend once again this year, the eleventh straight year of increased spend.

Driven by its succesful introduction of Xserve, Apple attracted interest from federal and military agencies last year, with the Argonne National Lab, the National Security Agency, and NASA all expressing interest in building Xserve-based clusters.

Apple also signed up government-focused reseller PC Mall Gov in April last year.

Speaking for show organisers PostNewsweek Tech Media, vice president Lorenz Hassenstein observed: "The government market continues its robust growth. Outsourcing, homeland security, and the nation's global war on terrorism are driving a significant increase in spending. For that reason, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security alone will be spending in excess of $32 billion this year on information technology."

Along with Apple, the 800 FOSE 2005 exhibitors include: Adobe, Epson, Fujitsu, HP, InFocus, Microsoft and Sony.