The end of an Era. Microsoft has drawn the curtain on an industry institution, The Microsoft Keynote at CES. For the past 15 years they have had a grip on the podium that kicks off America’s largest consumer and electronics show. This is the show that every Technoid worth his weight in silicon attends. Like Mecca it is every noids duty to make the journey at least once in their life time.
With Steve Ballmer and Ryan Seacrest taking center stage for Microsoft’s final keynote address to the CES the attending Technorati seemed to have given the final show a collective Meh. Still Ballmer did his best to emulate a living human being with an intact sense of humor.
In honor of this auspicious occasion Australian techno – doff doff – remix masters Pogo have pulled together a salute to the partnership. It’s funny, it’s moving and it will get you tapping your toes. Sourced from the highlights of 15 years of keynote events presented in 120 seconds Pogo have packed in the memorable moments.
With enough source material to give the best reality TV show an entertaining run for its money Pogo selected from 11 Bill Gates speeches – blue screen of death included -, 4 speeches from pre-eminent monkey man Steve Ballmer, 8 celebrity guests – including the Rock – and far too many interview sweaters to count.
Officially both parties say there is no animosity in the split, apparently schedules don’t align which ominously sounds like the speech from divorcing parents to their children. Microsoft officially makes most their major product announcements before Christmas, leaving nothing for Steve Ballmer to excite the crowd with – besides his monkey dance of course -. Previously many of Microsoft’s keynotes have been about the advancements in technology, a longer term view down the pipeline.
This last keynote was very lite on specific details such as release dates and hardware specifics, some likening it to an infomercial. The keynote did cover much of the new Metro integration into Windows and Microsoft’s other products. The TV wall looked spectacular with Metro covering the 50 foot wide display, tiles flipping and sliding with continuous real time updates. Microsoft is wise to be pushing this new technology into every corner of their product list.
Three handsets were displayed running the new Windows Phone 8 and the Metro User Interface – UI -, the Nokia Lumia 900 with its ultra bright 4.3″ AMOLED screen, the cheap and cheery Lumina 710 and the HTC Titan II. The Titan was showing off a brand new 4.7″ Super LCD display that really popped, it also caught people’s attention with its 16 megapixel camera.
The Kinect for Windows was central to the Sesame Street demonstration and will be available February 1, Amazon is already taking pre-orders. The Sesame Street demonstration was amusing to everyone except the Technorati who were present, they didn’t really appreciate Elmo’s sense of humor and coconut counting abilities.
Ultrabooks were abundant with examples from almost all manufacturers. HP was running Windows 8 of course on laptops and a number of tablets. Did someone say but what about WebOS, looks like the WebOS team have already been ditched in favor of Microsoft’s new Metro based operating systems. HP also had a special little laptop with a transparent lid.
Watching hours of CES keynote highlights it does become obvious that the CES keynote was Bill Gates’ baby, he always seem to love the on-stage performance even when machines where crashing around him. Steve Ballmer on the other hand always seems a little awkward in the spotlight.
“I would be shocked if a Microsoft leader did not return to this stage again in the next few years,” said the CEA’s – organizers of CES – Gary Shapiro.
After 15 years of Microsoft holding center stage who will deliver the keynote next year, no-one knows as of yet. Microsoft will of course have a booth at next years CES but they are planning on having their own event prior to Christmas that will be the new platform for product releases. There is an entire year before the next keynote is due so there is plenty of time for them to kiss and make up, just in case Microsoft can’t find a date before then. No one likes a messy break-up.