15,000 queuing to get into Ballmer’s keynote that opens CES. Queue started at 16:30. Keynote was at 6:30.
3 enormous screens on the stage, stage silver spotlights hit the Chandeliers. And then – human beatboxing, flashing videos on all screens, it’s the full circus! (was wondering for a minute if accidnetally I stepped into a Cirque de Soliel rehersal) – and then….! no, not Ballmenr but CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro, that welcomes Ballmer into the stage. And then, all expected mantras started flowing:
‘difficult times call for innovations’
‘only innovators will survive’
‘Microsoft is an innovator’
And even though there much truth in some (innovation in difficult times STATISTICALLY proved successful) and a is shade of truth in others (ok not the third), it was a bit disappointing with slogans such as ‘Windows will remain center of technological solar system’ AND ‘fantastic Out of the Box experience!’ with nothing really solid that we have not seen up until now to back it up.
Microsoft is focusing on 3 areas this year:
1) convergence between 3 screens: tv, computer, handheld device
2) User Interface
3) ‘Connected Experiences’ – which somewhat relates to the first area of focus
more exciting news:
* Windows 7 beta is out offering touch-technology, ‘apple-ish’ navigation
* new partnerships will put the awful Microsoft search on every Dell and Verizon devices
* Microsoft (finally!) interfaces with Facebook
* 2 Halo games released this year
OK, not the most inspiring ever keynote, But!!! at least they pitched strongly that they are there and dealing with the challanging economy, they delivered improvements and changes, showed progress, be it not ground-breaking.