Things I noticed about the Microsoft Keynote at CES


I just gave checked out the Microsoft CES keynote today. I know it’s late, but I decided to play it in the background as I was surfing the web.

I usually never like Microsoft keynotes. I mean there are some good parts, but then there are really a lot of boring parts, and parts that shouldn’t be in there.

So here’s my thoughts as I was watching:

  • "Bill’s Last Day" video was pretty neat. Microsoft must have paid some big bucks to get some of those stars in it (though I think Obama and Clinton did it more for publicity – and did you notice no Republicans?). And they did it in the same kind of style as "The Office". I thought that was a good humorous video.
  • Bill goes on about ‘the future’. I love to hear things about the future (I love to speculate about future things, as the title of my blog says), but coming from a tech company, I expect to actually see something that will actually come out soon. The concepts Bill talks about are neat, but I hate hearing futuristic predictions from a tech company, but seeing nothing that will come soon. Microsoft needs to talk about real things, not things off in the distant future.
  • There’s a demo of some Windows Live services. Now some Windows Live services really are great, but I don’t think it was worth showing at CES. It looked more like an ‘ad’ for Windows Live, than really showcasing anything new. I also thought her demo could have been more lively, and the way some of the Live services were displayed were a bit tacky than what they really do seem. Sigh. Maybe they’ll get it right one day.
  • Then a Surface demo. Pretty interesting as a retail-kiosk-like thing. Thought the demo was more slower than it should be, but it’s probably still in works. Wish there was the technology for consumers though.
  • Silverlight demo. I think it’s pretty neat that NBC/Olympics thing will be worked with MSN and Silverlight. I’m a big fan of the Olympic Games (kept tabs on Torino 06′ all the time) and seeing Silverlight technology with it would be pretty interesting. Though I hope that Silverlight has a more stable release before August or whenever comes.
  • Connected entertainment (Xbox 360, Games on Windows, Media Center, Mediaroom/IPTV) talk. Same kind of stuff like we already knew. New partners. Demo of Zune Social – not too bad. Then demo of Ford Sync (still think it needs work itself) was also ok.
  • Then there’s WinMo. Not much news at all about upcoming WinMo OS. Bill shows Tellme with voice AND see (you can talk to find info. AND see it on your screen as you talk).
  • Bill then shows neat concepts. Like virtual media in Media Center, showing like individual pieces of colorful media. Cool looking, but it’s really more like eye candy. And then there’s using WinMo + Virtual Earth, and how the phone can recognize real life buildings, and give you an update on your interactions there (like aiming the device at the Bellagio displayed a message that Ballmer was doing slots). And that’s about the only interesting future demos there were.
  • Guitar Hero end. #1 Guitar Hero player plays, and some character called Slash jumps out. And crawls right back in.

Well this was a rather disappointing keynote to me. No showing ANY new products to come out soon/later. A lot of this stuff was like showing off the latest things from Microsoft (like some dumb ad), talk of what the future will be like, new partnerships, and no new of new products. Sigh. How disappointing. You would think Microsoft could bring more amazement to their keynotes. But I couldn’t help but stiffle a yawn.

Hopefully next year’s Keynote will really display some new amazing products, and give us better insight of how Microsoft will better tie-in existing products/devices. But it’s sad to see that Bill Gate’s last keynote really didn’t go off with a bang. 


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