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CES Day 2: Ballmer’s pitch

January 12, 2009

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 is a shade of truth in each of the statements (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!’.

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

nothing too exciting – but! at least they pitched strongly that they are there and dealing with the challanging economy.

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