CES 2008: Bill Gates Keynote


Posted January 6, 2008 - By bleahy


Keep your eyes glued to this exciting blog post as it will be updated with the meat and pataters of Bill Gates' Keynote Address as it happens in a few hours (9:30 EST/6:30 PST).

What do you think his big announcement will be? The rumored Ultimate Xbox 360? Consumer availability of Microsoft Surface? Vista 2? He's building a rocket to go to and conquer the moon?

Stay tuned. If you guess exactly what he announces before he does, you will be right.

Update: Been sitting in line for about 2 hours now. We're fighting for use of wall outlets. I had to suckerpunch someone from CNN just to charge my laptop.

8:22 EST: Inside the Room Now -- still about an hour to wait, but they are playing Daft Punk so that's A-OK in our books. We're about 30 rows back because we waited in line like suckers. Also, our iPhones have run out of batteries. Lame.

8:32 EST: Wi-Fi Woes -- The quality of the The Sands Expo wi-fi network from the Palazzo Ballrom in the Venetian is pretty weak. We hope we don't lose signal during the keynote. A guy is falling asleep next to and on to bleahy. It's kind of weird.

8:45 EST: Still Waiting -- People are still filing into the ballroom and the music has gotten considerably worse. We're thirsty and hungry. This is the battleground that internet journalists face at CES. While I was typing this Daft Punk came back on so we're okay now. Don't fear for us. It's even from the new Alive 2007 live album. If only Bill would come out and dance!

9:00 EST: Half Hour to Go -- It's amazing. The room is still filling up. Duke Nukem Forever might even get released while we wait for this to get going. Here's to hoping it starts on time. Pro Tip: It won't.

Our quick keynote impressions after the cut:

The sales and landmarks:

  • Xbox Live Hits 10 million users -- maybe this explains the lag?
  • 17.7 million Xbox 360s shipped worldwide.
  • In terms of total business done (hardware/software), MS edges out Nintendo by $1 billlion and Sony by $2 billion.
  • Windows Live hits 420 (lol) million users.
  • Windows Mobile gained 10 million new users in 2007.

The announcements:

  • ABC and Disney will be bringing their TV shows (woot! Lost!) to Xbox Live Marketplace.
  • MGM will be bringing their movie library to Xbox Live Marketplace.
  • Samsung and HP will both develop Media Center Extenders. HP will release the first HDTV that functions as the extender.
  • Mediaroom will get "DVR Anywhere", which can stream recorded TV to other devices on the home network.
  • British Telecom will begin selling Xbox 360s that will run Mediaroom (UK only sorry).
  • The Zune will go on sale in Canada in the Spring.
  • Bill's Last Day At Microsoft -- Say what you want but this sketch was hilarious.
  • Windows Live Integration -- Some interesting integration ideas to bring everything together, but we don't imagine it will hit the market share they want. It might only get used as embeddable objects on social sites like Facebook and MySpace.
  • The Three Things Bill Thinks Will Shape This Next Digital Age:
    • High-Definition Experiences Everywhere
    • Service Connected Devices
    • Power of Natural User Interfaces
      • Bill mentions the success of Windows touchscreen tablets and the iPhone. He mentions Surface... no mention of the Wii. Biased much, Bill?
  • Microsoft Surface -- It's still a really cool concept, but the demo that Bill showed was nothing new. It also looking pretty choppy and it didn't seem as natural as other touch based UIs (*cough* iPhone *cough*).
  • Total Lack of Xbox 360 News -- Sucks! They better make up for it at GDC. We want Gears of War 2, dammit. No Ultimate 360, no IPTV, no DVR, no HD-DVD... nothing.
  • Ford Sync -- It's cool and all, but talking to your car will never be as cool as Knight Rider. We're gonna hold off on this one for now.
  • SayAndSee -- A cell concept feature that will take voice commands and allow for things like finding movie theaters, purchasing tickets, and notifying friends all with voice commands. Again, talking to your electronics isn't cool, but it is easier than typing.
  • Visual Recognition Concept -- Bill showed off some nice future-tech that they want to eventually put into cellphones that uses a camera to recognize surroundings and display information based on what it sees. This could include directions to the landmark, appointments and notes linked to the place, or even people.
  • Bill Plays Guitar Hero III -- Bill was gonna play GHIII, but brought out Slash to play for him. That was awesome until the show ended abruptly and there was no Steve Jobs-esque "one more thing".

All in all, it was cool to see Bill's last keynote, but there were no bombs dropped. It was funny, though, so I guess that counts. They clearly had writer's working for them. Maybe some striking writers got an easy paycheck.

That closes out tonight for G4tv.com at CES 2008, but check back tomorrow when the show floor officially opens. We're going to gamble now.

Tags: CES, Tech, Xbox 360
CES 2008: Bill Gates Keynote


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