Gary: welcome to international CES 2009!
Tripod’s back to close it out, we’re out!
1:49AM - Applause. Gary Shapiro: You know, Steve, Bill had a very big sweater to fill, and you filled it totally. Steve: I’m going to leave on THAT, thanks!
1:49AM - Ballmer: It would definitely make me want to go back to school to have all that great stuff! Despite the economy, I hope you’ll agree with me that our industry has an incredible opportunity ahead of us. I want to thank you not just for your time, but for all your support, it’s been my pleasure to be here today!
1:48AM - She’s got a 2mm thick active, flexible, color electrophoretic display. Crazy stuff.
1:47AM - Showing use of Surface with linked devices, “everyday objects,” and data across social scenarios. I hope you’re able to catch this stuff on video!
1:44AM - Demoing a conceptual social networking health app.
1:42AM - There are really a lot of exciting things ahead. But before I wrap up, I’d like to invite up on stage Janet Valour (sp?) to show some future concepts. (She works at Microsoft’s Home of the Future, I’ve met her before, they do some crazy stuff!)
1:41AM - … these trends will make computing far more useful and personalized. We’ll deliver software that learns your habits and understands your preferences. If you’re a traveler and say get me ready for my trip, it’ll know what to do — when you want to fly, what hotels to book.
1:40AM - Steve’s back, and he’s accusing Robbie of throwing the game, wahhh. “We’re on the verge of the kind of technology transformation that only happens once every 10 or 15 years. There are some key trends enabling this transformation. First, Moore’s Law, which has morphed from a world where we get more speed to one where we get more processors.”
1:39AM - Now that’s a generation-defining experience, let me tell you! Laughter. If you go back to where we started with connected entertainment, we’re going to connect your family, kids, adults… whether you’re playing Halo, listening to Zune, or getting beat by a kid in Kodu, Microsoft will connect your experience. Thank you very much. Applause, and he’s off. That’s it, Robbie?
1:37AM - Damn, these Kodu programs Sparrow is making are pretty intense. The audience is totally eating this up!
1:35AM - Community Games — “We’re trying to empower everyone to create their own games. Later this year we’re launching Kodu…” this was the simplified game developer app they’ve been showing around. Sparrow, “actual 12 year old girl” is on stage to demo the game-game.
1:32AM - Robbie’s got a phone with a “new app” — allows you to control your Netflix queue from Windows Mobile. Welcome to the future! “That’s what we’re doing in movies, let me transition to music. … what’s happened in the music genre, Xbox has been incredibly successful. Fans want an interactive experience with their music, and they’re getting it on Xbox. 60m music track downloads on Lips, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero — according to our partners, Xbox accounts for 80% of all game track downloads on all platforms.
1:30AM - Demo’s over. “We’re continuing to expand our video content; in November we added Netflix, and it’s been a fabulous addition.” (I’d definitely agree.) Robbie’s having trouble with his Xbox controller. Twice!
1:27AM - Robbie’s going to demo 1 vs 100. He’s having a bit of trouble getting the wireless Xbox headset on. Don’t worry Robbie, I have the EXACT same problem, that’s why I went back to the wired headset.
1:25AM - Since NXE launched, users are adding 33% more friends — we see this as an exciting opportunity to expand Xbox Live. We’re going to evolve with new content… in spring we’ll launch Primetime, a channel on Xbox that creates scheduled programming. (Saw this at E3 last year!)
1:24AM - The other title: Halo ODST, coming in 2009! Let’s transition to Xbox Live — in Nov we launched NXE… our downloads are up 60% since we launched NXE.
Sorry folks, Sprint network is crapping out here! Robbie’s going over stuff… Zune Pass/social members (now over 2m), Mediaroom.
“Xbox had a spectacular year — our best year for Xbox ever.” Over 17m members. Talking Halo — “It IS the defining social gaming application. The first is Halo Wars, a strategy game.”
1:14AM - Ah, novelty rock! They almost sound like Flight of the Conchords, except, um, not quite as good? Apparently they can’t wait to make sweet love — but not until they finish this level.
1:13AM - Ah, it’s a band called tripod, and apparently they’re all PCs.
1:12AM - Aight, she’s all set! Jumped into an I’m a PC commercial. And apparently a band is coming out on stage.
1:11AM - Apparently we’re about to see her fave new feature in Messenger. Dynamic display picture links emoticons to user photos. Groundbreaking stuff!
1:08AM - Man, the “jokes” during the demo are pretty stiff! Showing Facebook integration.
1:05AM - Windows Mobile: demoing new WinMo IE6 with Flash on a Treo Pro. Playing back a YouTube video. Photo-stitching on an Omnia. Now on to Windows Live.
1:03AM - Demoing home network setup and play to, which sends music from one machine to another on the network, i.e. PC to Xbox. “We built touch into the DNA of Windows 7.” Showing motion and gestures on a TouchSmart PC.
1:00AM - Demoing some of the usability features of Win7 nav. Task bar, windows peeking, snapping to screen positions, jump lists…
12:57AM - I’d now like to invite up on stage Charlotte Jones — she’ll demo Win7, Live, and Mobile. After she’s done Robbie Bach is coming up to talk about TV and connected entertainment (yes! Robbie!).
12:56AM - … we have over 11 different WinMo phones that have each sold over 1m units. We’ve offered more choice to more users than any other mobile platform in the market. I’m also thrilled to announce a new partnership with Verizon to offer Live Search.
First, we’re announcing worldwide availability of Windows Live Essentials; it’s final, it’s free, and it works on XP, Vista, and 7 beta.
Second, we’re announcing a partnership with Facebook that will deliver the best social experience to our 0.5b Live users. You can connect Facebook with Live. The updates and photos you post will be published to your Windows Live network.
Third, we’re announcing a partnership with Dell to pre-install Live Essentials and Live Search on all their consumer worldwide.
12:53AM - The next thing I want to talk about is where we are with Windows Live: it’s our cloud solution for communicating, sharing, and keeping your life in sync. Today we have three big announcements.
12:53AM - On Friday, Microsoft will post it online for everyone to download!
12:52AM - Windows 7: we’re working hard to get it right and to get it ready. Windows 7 should boot more quickly, have longer battery life, and have fewer alerts. It makes entertainment better. … Today I’m excited to announce we’re releasing the beta of Windows 7. TechNet and MSDN customers can get Win7 right now. Applause.
12:51AM - It was the recognition that there was a whole industry we could bring together that was the special sauce of Windows. …we are committed to breaking down the barriers that exist… when I think about the future of Windows, I really do think — as we say in our marketing — of a life without walls. (Oookay.)
12:50AM - The choice that offers the most power for the money… is the PC! And that’s why we say, “I. Am. A PC!” One dude in the audience applauds.
12:49AM - … and some Windows Mobile phones. Doesn’t look like anything up there that hasn’t been announced yet.
12:48AM - So far lots of laptops!
12:46AM - I’m super excited about the cool hardware our partners have coming out… roll video!
12:46AM - When I say Windows, I’m sure you think about PCs — even though we’re on the phone and in the cloud. The choice, power, and value of the PC is unmatched and better today than ever! Windows has become the language that over 1b people speak in every country and culture around the world. But it’s nothing without the innovative hardware it runs on.
12:45AM - The linchpin for bringing all this together should be Windows.
12:44AM - The last area of opportunity is what I’d call connected experiences; much of what we carry sits in silence. Your experience is disconnected when you move from one screen to another; but the internet, the cloud is connecting all these devices seamlessly. … In many ways, connecting all this together is “the last mile” for a real breakthrough for consumers.
TV will become more sophisticated and connected; the boundary between TV and PC will dissolve.
The next area is how you interact… natural interfaces like speech, gestures, and handwriting, will become a normal part of the way we interact.
12:42AM - When I think of this opportunity, the first thing I think of is the three screens; TV, PC, mobile. Over 5b people have never owned a PC, so we have a lot of work to do… efforts like netbooks and OLPC will continue to democratize computing. But technology is converging upon three screens… over a billion mobiles are sold each year… they’re becoming more capable, and over the next several years smartphones will make up the majority of the market.
12:40AM - Why do we continue to invest, and why do I strike this optimistic core? … The opportunity we possess, we in this room, to truly change peoples’ lives through technology, has not changed in any way.
12:39AM - I want to talk about the economy, Microsoft, and the work we’re doing in this industry. … these technological advances have raised the global economy, enlisted millions of people into the middle-class for the first time. Today, we face some serious challenges — all of us, we’re all feeling it. As this recession ripples across the globe, it feels like we’ve entered a period of reduced expectations.
12:37AM - I hope you’ll join me in applauding Bill for his incredible work on behalf of society across the globe. (Hear hear!) Since this is my first time at CES, I have to admit I’ve gotten a lot of advice and a lot of questions. I thought I’d share a few questions I’ve gotten today. From Bill Gates: make sure, Steve, that you’re at CES, and not that OTHER convention in Vegas!
12:36AM - So THIS is CES? It’s a real honor for me to deliver this opening keynote… it’s become a tradition…
12:35AM - Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome CEO Steve Ballmer!
12:34AM - Looks like generic product marketing stuff. Bring on Steve!
12:33AM - “And I thought you all came to hear me!” Heh. Ahem. This is Steve’s first CES keynote; on a completely related note, apparently he got a perfect 800 on his math SATs. “I’m sure many of you have heard Steve’s PASSIONATE speeches in the past… but first, let’s take a look at this video!”
12:32AM - We have a phenomenal lineup of top execs [like Ballmer, for example?]. … and now, I’m so honored to kick of 2009 CES with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Applause.
12:31AM - I want to welcome you all to CES — four days packed with incredible products. I’m ready for some optimism and vision. You want to come together in one place… see each other face to face, that’s what CES is all about.
12:30AM - Ladies and gentlemen: president and CEO of CEA, Gary Shapiro. Applause.
12:28AM - Oh man, dude is fake-scratching “suh-suh-suh-C-E-S.”
12:24AM - Looks like we’re getting started! Actually, I take that back, there’s just two dudes up on stage beatboxing while they show clips of people interacting with technology. Sure, why not?
12:10AM - One thing I know: there’s a very high likelihood that whatever Steve shows on stage will have a removable battery.
11:55PM - Bumped into my old pal Major Nelson in line, think he’ll be covering the keynote from back stage! The space in the venetian is a lot smaller this year, it looks like they cut the hall in half. Not sure what that means about expected attendance.
11:53PM - Alright, they’re letting in!
11:30PM - Speaking of keynotes, looks like Sony just wrapped up theirs. Kind of bummed I missed that one (I usually make it to the Sony keynote), but Peter and I were recording tomorrow’s episode of gdgt weekly.
11:20PM - Media line is already pretty long at this point, but the Venetian seats more than five thousand, if I remember correctly! Will be killing a bit of time before they let in.