Yawn. That is what I thought (and did) the entire time through Microsofts CES keynote presentation. I honestly don’t even think it was a “keynote” presentation, more of a “we don’t have anything new so we are just going to rehash every presentation we gave in 2009”-note.
Let’s start with the overall keynote gripes, and then we’ll narrow it down. Steve, please stop, please. Who do they get to write the scripts for these things? They interject barely funny skits and Steve Ballmer’s dumbass adlibs into a boring script that sounds more like a Ronco infomercial then a keynote technology address. Actually, it’s worse than that; I wouldn’t want to disparage Ron Popeils knack for selling. You give very little data on the products such as sales figures, market share, etc; and fill it up with “I just love this product” crap. As much as I hate to say it, Apple is your daddy when it comes to these events. And while we are at it, what in the hell is this censoring the video feed when they showed a movie clip or some old video games. Respecting intellectual property? You have got to be kidding. I guess it would be damaging to the marketing plan for me to watch a clip of PacMan for 30 seconds.
On to the product demos. First we have Windows 7, which they show a bunch of rehashed PC designs that are hardly worth the extra money they charge for them. Then Media Center was demoed. This was a well done segment, minus Ballmer’s stupid interjections. Here’s is the problem with your awesome demo. Nobody gets IP TV in the US. Almost no one uses AT&T’s Uverse, the only provider to use Microsoft’s MediaRoom Platform, so you made a demo of great tech that no one can use. As far as the Cable Card demo, that’s great but we have seen the success or lack thereof with the Cable Card platform.
Then we come to the, GASP, HP slate. I’m sorry but tablets and slates are going to be a huge bust for the tech industry, I don’t care what Apple does. They are going to be overpriced for the functionality and honestly, no one has a use for them that isn’t already handled by a netbook or cheap notebook. The funniest part of the Slate preview was ole’ Steve trying to start a video to end the segment. You see the results of shoehorning touch onto the Windows 7 platform. The UI isn’t designed for it. This is going to be a 500+ dollar tablet with no power or usability. Fail.
Then they moved onto the Xbox. They talked about some new games, some Zune integration, and some Facebook integration. That’s great, it all happened LAST year. Then they moved onto Project Natal. Minus finally announcing a shipping date, it was the same information they talked about last year at E3. And that sums up the last part of the keynote.
I probably left some things out of this summary because, well, it was that boring. I know my attention wavered. How in the world do you keynote the biggest electronics show in the world and bring out nothing new and fall flat on your face? Only Microsoft could do that. Wait I forgot, Sprint did the same thing shortly thereafter, but that’s another article.