BCCHardware @ CES 2009 - Keynote
This being my first time in Vegas I was pretty blown away by the pretty lights and glamor there. I was pretty excited and was looking forward to see some big names there and some big announcements to be given out.
The Keynote Speech is one of the biggest events there and is the opening to pretty much the entire CES trade show. We were lucky enough to get a good seat (Press badges forever!) and we were able to see Gary Shapiro, the CEO and president of CES, and Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, give opening speeches to the event. Gary Shapiro didn't say much, just welcoming all the people to CES. However this being Steve Ballmer's first speech at CES he mentioned a little on all the advice that he received you can check that out over in the gallery pictures. He later gave a pretty big announcement stating that the beta for Windows 7 is finally available for download from techbeta and technet.
While the big Windows 7 announcement is now out of the way he mentioned a partnership between Facebook and Windows Live. Apparently it is supposed to consolidate all of your social networks, I think that it is just another thing to sign up for, but before I try it out I cannot say for sure. He touched also on a partnership between Microsoft and Verizon, to bring Windows Live Search to all Verizon mobile phones. Microsoft wants to provide 30 different phones to the consumer market.
After we welcome Charolette Jones to the stage, she gives us a quick overview of Windows 7. It definitely looks pretty intuitive, fast, and user friendly, One of the Features she really was touching on, (quite literally) was the integration of touch screen programs into windows 7. So that when any touch screen monitor is connected to your PC then it would be seamlessly integrated into the OS.
Also she touched on Windows mobile and touch on a couple phones, then moved on to going over a lot of features of Windows Live with their new partnership with Facebook. One of the things we thought was really handy and cool was the integration of translation into Windows Live, while you still need to know the original language it is in you can translate it into pretty much anything.
Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division, stood up at the stand next. Obviously he touched on Microsoft's biggest game franchise "Halo." He mentioned that the new Halo Wars would be Teen rated, and also mentioned the new game Halo 3: ODST. Really, the name sucks, piggy backing on the latest game in the series is not cool, and being a gamer myself it ticks me off. It wouldn't be so bad if it only piggied off of the Halo name but Halo 3? Come on! Even Halo Wars did better.
Then he was talking about his new game development "game" for the Xbox 360, and he had a 12 year old girl come up on stage and show the audience what it could do for a young mind. Really she was pretty impressively fast and she definitely knew what she was doing. It wasn't anything that you are going to be able to create any super games; however it does stimulate creativity in young teens and double digits which is good. She then made a quick competition and totally spanked him with it.
Still speaking of "technical difficulties" on one of Robbie's presentations, it took him nearly 30 seconds to turn on a controller and that is just about 6 times the amount of time a normal controller should take to turn on. So while an amusing but largely uneventful conference took an hour and a half you can catch the full blown video over here. And like all good Microsoft videos, you need to install Microsoft's Silverlight to watch it.