Hey everybody, so we're up in the press section of the Las Vegas Hilton Theater to see what Bill Gates has got
cooking in his keynote speech this year. Last year he gave us some deets on the Smartphone OS and Windows XP Media
Center Edition—today we're expecting some info on
Magneto, Microsoft's latest edition of the Windows Mobile
OS, convergence, and more biz on PlaysForSure. And who knows? No one ruled out the Xbox 2.
We'll be reporting in real time, so click on and reload for our up to the minute coverage!
Reload for the latest updates! All time reported PST.
6:25 - Waiting for speech to begin. This Gwen Stefani track is freaking catchy.
6:32 - Still waiting. Music is getting progressively worse. Fine, so Gates aint got the jamz.
6:41 - Gary Shapiro on stage to intro this biz.
6:42 - Ha! He just called Carly Fiorina the CEO of TI. Damn.
6:45 - Bill Gates about to come on. Who made these freaking interstitials?
6:49 - Conan OBrien??? Hes not Bill Gates but we rather prefer him.
6:53 - NBC produced a made for TV movie about gadgets Oh, really? Steve Ballmer is going to be played by Terry Bradshaw. No kiddin! Steve Jobs will be played by Ringo Starr. Jeff Bezos will be played by an emu. Paul Allen will be played by Janet Reno. And finally, the man of the hour Bill Gates will be played by Millhouse from the Simpsons.
6:58 - Conan: What can we expect from the digital lifestyle? Gates thinks the digital lifestyle is accelerating much quicker than expected, but this is the decade that we can expect technology to be neglected.
7:03 - Microsofts strategy for consumers? Flexibility. Simplicity. A single remote control. (Obviously referencing Media Centers wide range of content delivery capabilities.)
7:05 - Gates playing with the iRiver H10; Conan takes it, puts it in his pocket. PlaysForSure is going to drive music forward, and enables monthly subscriptions, which is the direction many people are speculating content is moving.
7:09 - On digital photography. Gates blows off Conans joking around with a Nikon D2X: Okay. Thats funny. Wireless slideshow not working. Whoa, this is kind of like the Media Center version of the Blue Screen of Death demo.
7:10 - On television. Choice, variety; the centerpiece is the Media Center. 1.4 million units. Wait, I think we have the slide show working. And no, its not working. Conan: Whos in charge of Microsoft?! oh. Wait, its actually working. Ha. Its not.
7:20 - On Media Center and the Extender. New media center services with partnered content providers. Discovery Channel, for instance, will now provide a rich media guide. Remotes: Philips, Logitech, Niveus have announced universal remote control devices and support for Media Center. Also working with certification program for Media Center PCs; we think this should make it a lot easier for OEMs to release Media Center PCs on the market instead of just the bigger players. New MCE also enables remote record, which will work similarly to Tivos TCO (TiVo Central Online).
7:25 - Still on MC. Burn DVDs simply from within Media Center. Simplified media adapter capabilities by pulling content off of other Media Center PCs or XP PCs (and, we assume, any other SMB/NetBIOS-enabled machines).
7:29 - Gates talking about IPTV: maximum flexibility. Yeah, no kidding, homes. Theyve been building on TV-software technology for 12 years? Yo. Bell-South is rolling out IPTV, as well as SBC (via 2Wire?).
7:37 - SBC exec: IPTV has four simultaneous content streams to the home, including hi-def. Its about convergence of voice, video, and data. The Video Store has access to a library of programs for feeds; of course, it will be DRMed out the yin-yang. With IPTV there is access to multiple angles and sports programs simultaneously, as well as remote access and recording/programming via Windows Mobile-based devices. I also want to point out that all these demonstrations worked. Har har.
7:45 - On Portable Media Centerpartnership with MTV, who is working with the Windows ecosystem, and expected to work with MS on PlaysForSure biz. Oh, and TiVoToGo (which we already told you quite enough about), but also the ability move of content to PMC-enabled devices.
7:50 - Expect Oregon Scientific alarm clocks and other such smallish devices that will connect and pull data from the SPOT network! Hype!
7:52 - On gaming: game development is going to be made simpler in ports between Xbox and the PC. Xbox hugely successful in 2004, outsold PS2 (hey, it made our comeback of the year noms list!). Xbox live and Halo 2 stuff; you guys are in the know. Gates believes that gaming is becoming a hugely social activity, especially enabled by high speed connections. Some nerd is demoing a racing game ala 2000 replete with mods and customs.
7:55 - Whoa, a Blue Screen of Death on the Xbox! Damn, this is a Microsoft address!
7:57 - Conans racing Bill. Bills in the lead with his Ferrari, and Conans just crashed out in a crappy Buick. No
surprise there that Bills won the race. Conans framerate is also at about 2fps. Hot.
8:00 - Wrapping up: the future. Chips are doubling in speed, storage is doubling in size. Were releasing our technical limits; software will be more customizable, and purposeful for new audiences. Grandmas gonna use a computer in 2005? Well see, Bill. Well see.
The end. Good night East Coast, hello Digital Experience! Stay tuned