Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ 2008 CES Keynote recap

In his 2008 CES keynote presentation tonight, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates described three things that he thinks will dominate the next decade in technology:

Direct link via YouTube:

Seriously though, tonight Gates talked about the following:

1. High Definition everywhere
2. Everything will be interconnected and sharable
3. Power of “Natural User Interface”

In describing his third point, Gates mentioned touch (including Apple’s iPhone by name), speech, pen-based, and gestures as ways users will interface with machines and devices in the next decade.

Gates claimed that Microsoft has “100 million people using Vista now.”

Gates then claimed “over 10 million new users” for Windows Mobile last year and that Microsoft “will double that in the next year.”

Gates then ceded the stage to Mika Krammer, Director of WIndows Project Management who claimed that Windows is “her lifeline.”

MacDailyNews Take: Livin’ dangerously there, Mika.

Blah, blah, blah and Mika departed. Gates came back out and demoed Microsoft’s Big Ass Table. It’s all very Jeff Han three years ago. Gates failed to mention that Microsoft has delayed their Weak iPhone Obfuscatory / Me Too Campaign, er… Big Ass Table.

Gates shilled for Silverlight, Microsoft’s “Flash killer,” and announced that NBC (who else) will partner with Microsoft to broadcast the Bejing 2008 Olympics using SIlverlight. Naturally, no mention was made of the 2008 Olympic Organizing Committee dumping the unstable, unreliable Windows Vista.

Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s President of Entertainment & Devices Division then came out – scarily clad in a light blue V-Neck sweater just like Gates’ light purple one – to tout the many money losing products that Robbie oversees, such as Xbox (over which Microsoft is being sued yet again, this time not for defective machines (Red Ring of Death), but for recent Xbox Live outages) and Zune. Bach announced that Disney, Disney’s ABC, and MGM will be bringing content to Xbox Live (Did Steve Jobs sign off on that one?) There was no word whether MGM’s version of The Emperor’s New Clothes would be available. Probably not. Bach then said that “this is not a hobby” for Microsoft, wiggling his fingers in air quotes during “hobby” in a clear slam at Apple’s Steve Jobs who referred to Apple TV as a “hobby” last year.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll see how much of a “hobby” Apple TV is next week when a real visionary keynotes Macworld Expo.

Bach then claimed, with a straight face, that Zune is “becoming the clear alternative to the iPod.” That would, no doubt, be news to the real clear-yet-distant #2, SanDisk. Microsoft is so psyched to be #5 or whatever, that they’re vowing to inflict Zune upon Canadians this spring. Oh, you lucky Canucks! Come spring, you’ll get to ignore Zune just like us Yanks.

MacDailyNews Take: Nothing against Canada, we love Canada, but if Zune is such a rip-roarin’ success, why stop at Canada? Why not bring Zune to the entire world? Because it’s a failure, that’s why.

Bach then demoed “Microsoft Sync” in a Ford car onstage which allows for voice controlling iPods (and other MP3 players) and iPhones (and other mobile phones) in Ford vehicles. Amazingly, both doors stayed on the vehicle despite being opened and closed at least once.

Bach then claimed that Microsoft’s Windows Mobile is “a leader” in mobile phones, says that Windows Mobile “outsells Blackberry, outsells iPhone,” and then talked excitedly about how Microsoft is taking a very serious approach to mobile advertising.

Gates then returned to demo a huge black brick that you can point at people and places that recognizes faces and buildings and presents information – and ads – relating to what the device’s camera is seeing. Of course, no shipping date was mentioned.

Gates then took on Bach in Guitar Hero contest with Guitar Hero Champion Kelly Law-Yone standing in for Bach and Slash standing in for Gates. Each played guitar and then the keynote ended.

You can see Gates’ CES 2008 keynote here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yawn.


  1. YAWN!!! is right. Windows is Mika’s lifeline? So, breathing but no real brain activity.
    “claims that Microsoft’s Windows Mobile is “a leader” in mobile phones, says that Windows Mobile “outsells Blackberry, outsells iPhone,” …. um… sorry did I miss something… most of the media that I’ve seen shows the iPhone outselling Windows Mobile at a huge pace. Quite honestly, these morons are scrambling. Vista SUCKS and their Roman Empire crumbles more everyday. Boo hoo!

  2. Outsells iPhone? Try again, as in currently has sold more than iPhone because of it’s what, ten year head start? That’s all they have, the same way they like to pretend they are ahead of the the PS3 because of their 18 month head start.

    WinCe Mobile is going to get it’s head handed to it by a single device from a single company. It won’t just be as much fun to point and laugh at WinCe just because it is going to get outsold by the iPhone, but what will really make it laughable will be the fact that there are dozens of WinCE alternatives to the iPhone and that collective will get destroyed by a single device from a single company. The more you think about it, the funnier it gets.

  3. xbox has sold more than ps3. and every month since the ps3 launched, the xbox has continued to outsell it. so slice and dice the numbers however you want, the xbox is beating ps3… not sure why/how that’s even being argued…

  4. look, bill does fine. You have to remember he is representing a company that peaked 7 years ago. You can’t stay on top forever, that is just the sad facts. Apple is now rising where it should have been long ago. Soon Apple will have the huge market share and their run on top will begin. Where MS screwed up is that they could not figure out what was coming next. There is only one Steve Jobs, and currently he is employed by Apple.

  5. I used Silverlight in Firefox and it was so bad, I killed it, after the tongue-in-cheek clip on Bill’s last day. Bono and Gore were in there amongst others.

    I can’t say it was too thrilling after seeing Steve’s keynotes.

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