Short of giving you the full video for Bill Gates' opening keynote
presentation, we thought we'd provide you with a picture by picture
demonstration and keep the text to a minimum:
No CES without a Bill Gates opening keynote... this should get interesting.
Gates certainly looks like he feels like it.
Gates gets off to a good start: he gives us a sneak peak of what our lives
might look like in about 5 years. First the large interactive display. On the
top part we find some kids drawings. Below that, you can watch news and other
information. The bottom shows a map that tracks the whereabouts of your family
members. Big brother? Of course, but this is just a concept anyway.
The display is interactive: touch, click and drag all you want.
On to the office, Bill calls a quick meeting by dragging contacts to the
communications panel. That display in reality however is created by three
projectors hidden behind the desk... nothing fancy there.
Hey, isn't that a table PC? Like those will still be around five years from
Next scenario: a public place like an airport. By placing his mobile phone on
a display surface, Gates creates a personal workspace. He can also store a
contact in his mobile by simply placing an (RFID equipped) business card on the
Back to 2006. Gates leaves the stage, promising that a Group product manager
will display some "never before seen" features of Windows Vista. First up... the
glass display and sidebar featuring 'gadgets'. Wait... those aren't new at all
but have been demonstrated ad nausea.
But surely this "Sideshow" is new... Wait. That's just a new name for the
auxiliary display. Intel first
demonstrated that in February 2004. Giving it a new name doesn't make it
As the manager kept showing previously announced features, we started to doze
off. Until we landed at this "photo gallery". That we hadn't seen before. Making
in easy to organise, browse and edit photos, that's a first for Windows. But not
for iPhoto or Picasa.
The new Media Player too is a first. Again: easier to browse through and find
Than Bill Gates is allowed back on stage, and he brings with him a suit from
MTV: Van Toffler. Together they get to officially launch their new Urge online
We are soon forced to reach for a vomit buckets however, as
Toffler says words that even the worse marketing executive couldn't come up
with: "Today it is our mission to create a truly immerse, emotionally engaging
and entertaining experience with music." Bullshit bingo, anyone?
So this is it? Very immerse indeed.
Hey, isn't that Justin
Timberlake? He's even joking around, claiming that he will sing with Gates.
That is, we hope he's joking...
Back to business, Gates moves to mobile and shows a device whose makers for
years said that Windows sucked. But as of Thursday it will be available in the
US running Windows: the Treo smartphone.
Another company that build something cool with Microsoft software: this
Philips phone isn't just a cordless phone, but also allows users to place VoIP
calls to subscribers of MSN Messenger.
Speaking of partners: Microsoft must loooooove Intel these days. It's Viiv
platform will likely give a major push to Windows Media Center Edition.
This new portable media player from Toshiba now plays
movies (was we predicted below). And it supports downloads from the new
Starz Vongo service, featuring more than 1,000 movies. Video iPod, move
Windows Media Center Edition will also get a visual make-over. The new user
interface will cater towards wide screen displays, allowing for instance to
display album art of a digital music collection.
Finally, the Xbox 360. Sure it's been selling like crazy. But it's not like
we don't know that. But then Microsoft promises a live demonstration of the
forthcoming game Fight Night by Electronic Arts.
In the left corner, Bill
Gates is announced as: "He floats like an MSN butterfly, he sings like a bee."
His opponent? "The sultan of security, the prince of productivity": Microsoft
chief executive Steve Ballmer.
Just like in real live, Bill Gates wins.