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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uau0aIbrzkQ
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.