Summary of Last Night’s CES Keynote with Steve Ballmer

So, I watched last night’s keynote, and all I can say is WOW! We have a lot of interesting stuff happening in the consumer space. There’s so much that I could point out, that I’d be here all day – but I have a day job that requires that I promote other things (like IE8, building on Windows Live platform services, .NET 4, Windows Azure, etc.), so I’m going to type up a short summary of the keynote.

If you’d like to see the keynote, a recording is on the Microsoft PressPass site covering CES09, and there’s a keynote transcript there too. The press materials page has links to all sorts of supplemental information including other articles on the event, press releases, executive BIO’s, and Fact Sheets for products/initiatives announced last night and through the week at CES.

  • Steve Ballmer starts
  • Challenging time
    • Innovation during this time will provide significant competitive advantage
    • We invested more than $8B last year
    • We will invest this year more than most
  • 3 areas of opportunity
    • Convergence of the 3 screens - PC, Phone, TV
    • Interaction with devices in naturals ways
      • Speech, gesture, handwriting, etc.
    • Connected Experiences across different devices
  • Windows should be the linchpin for these opportunities, via the cloud
  • Video (16:50), different PC's and devices
  • Future of Windows
    • Past Success (best app's, choice in hardware, Windows made these work together)
    • Transforming OS to connected platform
  • Windows 7
    • Beta immediately released to MSDN/Technet subscribers
    • Available to public at end of week
  • Windows Live
    • Essential companion to Windows
    • 3 announcements
      • Windows Live Essentials – can download today, runs on WinXP and Vista
      • Partnership with Facebook – for sharing activities
      • Partnership with Dell to pre-install Live Essentials on new PC’s
  • Windows Mobile
    • Verizon to use our search engine on their devices
  • Charlotte Jones, Group PM
    • Windows 7
      • Easier window navigation
      • Snapping two windows
      • Pinning favorites
      • Jumplist
      • Home Group - sharing between home devices, send a song from husband's pc to xbox in den
      • Surface Globe application - Multi-touch application featuring Virtual Earth
    • Windows Mobile
      • New IE with Flash
      • Sumsung Omnia – Cool camera, running Windows Mobile 6.1, panoramic shots uploaded to Live Photos
    • Windows Live, home.live.com
      • IE8 accelerators
      • “What's new” featured on my Live profile, IM, mail, etc.
      • Facebook integration showing soon
      • Hotmail - QuickAdd feature (future)
      • Feed Integration
      • WL Messenger and Dynamic Display Picture capability
        • Profile picture using video
        • Profile changing based on mood
    • I'm a PC - 42:53
  • TriPod, act that sings "Gonna Love You Tonight", customized for Xbox theme, very funny
  • Robbie Bach, President, Entertainment & Device Division
    • Focus: Utilizing the TV
    • 2008 Review
    • Ford, new version of Sync using TellMe coming out
    • Zune, 2M+ folks on Zune Social
    • Offering the new Zune Pass plan (I mentioned this recently)
    • Windows Media Center , 10M+ unique users per month
    • Mediaroom (our IpTV product)
      • +2M user using this product, distributed by media partners like AT&T, BT, etc.
      • AT&T's U-verse service was voted by JD Powers as the best TV service across the United States
      • New interactive applications combined with broadcast experience, will change the way we use TV
    • Xbox, 28M+ consoles in 36 countries, low pricing
    • Xbox Live, 17M+ subscribers
    • Halo - our biggest entertainment franchise, 25M copies sold
      • 2 new titles this year,
      • in FEB, a strategy game
      • In fall, another action game
    • New Xbox Experience
      • more social capabilities like avatars and new UI
    • Xbox Live Primetime
      • “A new channel on the Xbox LIVE service, Xbox LIVE Primetime brings the best of TV-like"experiences to life in your living room”
      • Launches with show “1 vs. 100”, spring 2009. “Players can become contestants from their own homes, simultaneously competing against and playing together with others in the Xbox LIVE community.”
    • Netflix
      • 12K titles streamed to XBOX
      • Mobile app to control Netflix "queue", available on WM Total Access later this week
    • Social Music on XBOX
      • 60M tracks downloaded on Lips, Rockband, Guitar Hero
      • XBOX Live accounts for 80% of all music downloads across all platforms
    • Xbox Live Community Games
    • Kodu - game to learn how to program visually on Xbox, 1:03
    • Final Point
      • “But the simple point to make is that we're about expanding the audience, creating new opportunities for people to do social and interactive gaming.
      • And if you go back to where we started with connected entertainment across three screens, we really are going to connect your friends, connect your family, connect your kids, connect adults, and really drive that with cloud-based services that are going to deliver great content.
      • So, whether you're playing Halo, listening to Zune, or getting beat by a 12-year old on Kodu, Microsoft will connect your entertainment experience.”
  • Trends (Steve Ballmer returns to stage)
    • Moore’s Law morphed from more speed into more processors
    • Screens and displays will be everywhere. HD cheaper.
    • Device convergence
  • Microsoft Research (Janet Galore)
    • Digital Textbook (multi-touch, academic, research, etc.)
    • Surface
    • Flexible display