Bill Gates keynote CES 2008
Yesterday, I attended the Bill Gates pre-show keynote address. This was Bill’s 11th and final CES keynote address, as he will be stepping down from Microsoft mid-year to pursue philanthropic activities.
HD DVD not mentioned
Many products and services were mentioned during the keynote presentation, but HD DVD was not mentioned at all. Nothing, nada, zip. It appears that HD DVD is not part of Microsoft’s future or at the least, it is not an important part.
The big Xbox Live announcement was that ABC and Disney have signed on to provide TV show content on the Xbox Live service. MGM’s film library will also be available. All of this is starting this month.
Microsoft was also proud to announce that Xbox Live has more than twice as much on-demand HD content compared to any cable provider.
Microsoft also announced Mediaroom: DVR anywhere, which is a software suite that allows you to send content to other TV’s and PC’s in the home.
Xbox 360: now a cable box
British Telecom will soon be offering the Xbox 360 as a set-top cable box. No need to buy separate systems for gaming and cable viewing, the Xbox 360 will do it all.
NBC partners with Microsoft for Beijing 2008 Olympics coverage
NBC has chosen Microsoft as their technology partner for covering the 2008 Beijing Olympic games. Microsoft Silverlight technology will be used on NBC.com to bring the most interactive and most comprehensive web broadcast ever. Silverlight is a Microsoft web technology that allows developers to create rich, interactive content online with animations, video and applications. Viewers will be able to interact with the content and customize it to their liking.
Much more coming from Microsoft
As you’d expect, there will be much, much more new technology coming from Microsoft in the near future and beyond. Some of the other topics covered in the keynote included a Microsoft surface demo: where the user interfaces with the surface of a table to perform tasks, Zune social, Zune online ‘cards’, Microsoft Sync: interactive car components with audio device synchronization (MP3 players, Ipods), voice commands and auto-911 dialing after air bag deployment. Tellme: a voice command service where mobile phone users can search, request information and order goods utilizing voice commands and a yet-to-be-named video recognition technology will help people navigate to places and find more information. There was much more covered in the keynote and I’m sure you’ll be able to find a video online if you’re interested in seeing and hearing more.