My recap of Steve Ballmer’s 2012 CES Keynote speech

Steve Ballmer gave his final keynote speech at 6:30 pm today in las vegas during the CES 2012 conference.

He spoke about Windows 8, Windows Phone, Kinect, Bing, Office and the Xbox. He didn’t talk about Windows Server at all (that I can remember).

Here’s my summary:

It was an interesting presentation and Steve Ballmer was in rare form. In a slighly cuious choice for the format, he was “interviewed” by Ryan Seacrest from TV’s American Idol.

Their banter back and forth was a little painful to watch at times but the technology was pretty solid.

On Windows Phone

  • Some of the new features were reviewed
  • They talked about Bing and Windows Phone Integration
  • Samsung, LTC, Nokia, and HTC are Microsoft windows Phone partners
  • The Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 will be coming soon to Canada and US.The 710 will be available this wednesday from Sprint. The 800 will be available in next fewmonths.
  • He unveiled the Nokia Lumina 900.
  • He emphasised Windows Phones is jumping heads first into LTE phone networks.
  • He referenced the upcoming HTC Titan 2 – coming on ATT 4g LTE network – it has a 16 megapixel cam
  • Derek Snyder – Microsofts SVP of marketing came up and did a Windows Phone demo.

On Windows 7/8 Ultrabooks

  • They showed a short video showing the different (new) Ultrabooks available for Windows 7/8.
  • Aspire S3, the UX31, Portege Z380, Dell XPS 14z, Samsung Series 9, Lenovo U300, and the new HP Spectre

On Windows 8

  • Tami Reller, chief financial officer and chief marketing officer came out to talk about Windows 8.
  • She demoed Windows 8 on a laptop and a tablet.
  • She also demoed the HTML 5 game “Cut the rope” from ZeptoLab.
  • She spoke highly of the Nvidia Tegra 3 graphics chip powering the Samsung Tablet she was demoing.
  • The new phrase from Microsoft which she repeated was Windows 8 works with “Touch, Mouse and Keyboard”
  • She said the Windows store will open in late February. It will be global and available in every language offered for windows.
  • The Windows Store will have both paid and free apps.
  • Businesses can also use the Windows store to deliver apps and updates to employees

She also demoed the following on Windows 8

  • Type to search
  • Renaming groups of apps
  • Use of the share charm
  • Using snap to view desktop and tablet apps side by side
  • IE10 metro style ie plugin free browsing
  • IE10 metro style html 5 video.

She reiterated that late February is the windows 8 beta release timeframe.

She closed by showing (briefly) 2 new Ultrabooks. The HP Envy 14 Spectra UltraBook and the Samsung Series 9

She introduced another Microsoft Phrase to watch for “Windows 7 today, Windows 8 tomorrow”

 Steve Ballmer Talks Windows 7

  • Impressive stats – 500 million users windows 7
  • Licensing occurring at a rate of 7 copies a second
  • 25,000 users signed by the end of the keynote session
  • Every windows 7 pc will run Windows 8

Tweet choir

This was hands down AWFUL. It was like what the heck? They brought out some gospel choir to sing about tweeting. I don’t want to say more than that. It was so awful that I need to forget it forever.

Steve Ballmer Talks Xbox/Kinect

He described the Xbox as world sales leader for consoles

“We’re the sales user in consoles, we have 66 million Xbox users and over 40 million Xbox Live subscribers tuning in for a variety of different experiences.”

He gets to brag “I bet on it 10 years ago…”

“We’ve shipped over 18 million Kinect Sensors in a little over a year. Kinect, as we begin to integrate Bing into the Xbox experience, it will really transform the TV experience. You just say it and the Xbox goes and finds it.”

  • Bing being integrated with Xbox/Kinect
  • Metro is central to the experience
  • You can ask Bing to discover the content you want

Craig Davidson comes on to the stage, Senior Director of Xbox. He does a brief Xbox demo.

Microsoft Newscorp alliance

Microsoft Newscorp alliance

They announced a partnership with News Corporation, bringing Fox, WJS, Fox News and IGN to the Xbox.

They did a really fantastic interactive demo of an Xbox Sesame Street game. It was an nteractive demo with cookie monster and grover and coconuts. Very very cool.

Xbox Kinect Sesame Street

Xbox Kinect Sesame Street

Next, they showed the old Kinect video we have already seen.

Kinect is coming to windows on February 1st, 2012. You can preorder it here.

Microsoft is working with over 200 companies to develop apps for Kinect for Windows.

Steve Ballmer waxes nostalgic towards the end.

He talks about some of the things Microsoft have accomplished:

  • Sync – Installed in 4 million ford vehicles, 9 million soon
  • Office 2010 – fastest selling version in history
  • Office 365
  • Skype acquisition – Over 200 million people used over 300 billion minutes of voice and video
  • Bing and Yahoo at 30% market share

His parting message was that Windows 8 is critical for the company and as he said remember:

Windows Windows Windows!
Metro, Metro, Metro!

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