We're in our seats and eagerly awaiting the start of Steve Ballmer's (and Microsoft's) CES 2010 keynote. Hang tight for just a few, and the proceedings will get underway.
Check back at 6:30PM PT -- that's when the real action begins.
8:11PM We're outta here!
8:11PM "Thank you very much." And Robbie is gone. And... that's it? Wow. Incredibly boring. Incredibly incredibly boring. Really.
8:09PM "You'll be able to bring home Natal, which will work with your existing console. When I said 2010 would be a big year, I was wrong. It will be our biggest." Uh, no price Robbie? We'd love to hear a price.
8:08PM "I can tell all of you, Project Natal will be available this holiday, 2010."
8:08PM "When can I get my hands on one of those?"
8:08PM Big applause for that one.
8:07PM "From the technology side is to make it seamless: you act, it understands."
8:07PM "What Natal does is it evaluates trillions of body movements a thousand times a second."
8:06PM A Project Natal video showing some of the creators explaining how Natal works. It turns out it's a group of crazy geniuses. Go figure!
8:05PM "Our inventors are creating technology with a horizon of 10 year of more." "We also have R&D which created products with a 3 year horizon... and we have software engineers, you can see their work on all of our new products." "We create a more simple, more intuitive, and more natural... we call it Project Natal."
8:03PM "We've spent 30 years studying natural user interfaces... or NUIs."
8:03PM "Now the third reason Xbox is going to have an amazing year..." here comes Natal!
8:02PM "you can buy Game Room titles once and play them on both your Xbox and PC."
8:02PM You can challenge players to a "show down" in the arcade. Virtually, of course. "Here's a showdown I had with my boss." A video...
8:01PM "Starting this spring on your Xbox and Windows PC, you'll have 30 arcade classics to play."
8:01PM Uh oh, here comes Game Room. "I want you to take a trip down memory lane. You Xbox avatar enters your personal arcade."
8:00PM "Since its launch, users have had more than 25,000 videos to pick and play at home. It's a phenomenon."
7:59PM Microsoft has really been hammering this message for a while, we realize. Robbie has moved on to Zune integration, streaming HD video.
7:58PM Robbie is discussing the growing services on Xbox. Netflix, Canal+, avatars. "100 million songs have been downloaded for music games like Rock Band." He's also mentioning Facebook, Twitter, etc.
7:57PM "Halo: Reach is coming in the Fall of 2010. Now, the true magic in fusing Halo isn't social gameplay on Xbox live. But Xbox live offers much more than multiplayer gaming."
7:55PM A Halo: Reach trailer. This is 100 percent pure adrenaline. We kid you not.
7:53PM Oh boy. Halo.
7:53PM "Being an avid reader, I'm excited about the psychological action thriller genre we will introduce this year... Alan Wake." Hrm. "Imagine the TV show Lost as written by Stephen King and directed by David Lynch." What!? we think not, man.
7:51PM "I'm excited to share with you tonight about how 2010 will be a landmark year for us. You're going to see the best lineup of games and experiences." Robbie is listing off some of the upcoming titles... ooh content packs for MW2 this Spring. "This was the biggest entertainment launch in history."
7:50PM "The tech innovations for Xbox customers over the last 5 years have been, pardon the pun, a game changer."
7:49PM "When entertainment transports you, that's the magical 'wow' that excites us."
7:49PM Robbie: "The rich array of sports and entertainment transports you. What I love about working at MSFT is that the best software has the same effect."
7:48PM So just in case you're keeping count: no Courier. Nothing even close. At all.
7:48PM Robbie Bach is out!
7:48PM "Thanks for joining us -- this has been everything important that's ever happened in tech." Cute.
7:47PM "The internet was the real game changer."
7:47PM "Another key tech was mobile technology." "I'm talking on my dad's cellular telephone... I have to go, my head is getting hot."
7:46PM A guy playing Frogger. "I finally know what it's like to be a frog."
7:46PM "I want to fire up a little video here..." He's double tapping on the device, but nothing is happening. Ah there we go. Seth Myers is back!
7:45PM "This is running the Kindle software -- you see I can read a book just like this, by swiping."
7:45PM "Our partners are doing great work with Slate PCs. I'll drill down on this tablet from HP. It's a beautiful little product. Let's roll the video." Video... multitouch, multi-media... mainly just running Windows 7 with touch.
7:44PM Ballmer: "What I'd like to do is show Ryan something. Some systems our partners are building. I want to highlight new form factors in what we call Slate PCs." One from Pegatron, one from HP, one from Archos.
7:42PM They're now demo'ing how you can pull video content from your Mediaroom service onto your phone... a little sluggish on the HD2 to get started.
7:40PM "The Sliverlight streaming technologies are the secret sauce that makes this work."
7:40PM "This is provided to millions of customers. I'm happy to announce later this year that AT&T subscribers to UVERSE will be able to enable this on their Xbox consoles." Wow, nice.
7:39PM Ah ha. Switching to Mediaroom. Ballmer: "This is our software that permits pay TV service."
7:38PM Wow, they're really dragging out this Windows 7 demo. People seem to be feeling a bit antsy here -- we saw a lot of this last year.
7:37PM Turns out Alex was a skydiver. Ballmer: "What goes in Vegas stays in Vegas." Wait -- not sure that's how the saying works.
7:37PM Ballmer: "What is this private stuff here? I wanna see it!"
7:36PM Changing gears now. Showing a front-end for internet TV watching. Ballmer: "So this is just a little front end... not cable TV here."
7:35PM Ooh. Glitch. Some touchscreen stuff wasn't happening there. Looks like the demo has stalled out a little. Moving along...
7:34PM "I can watch TV on my PC." Whoa. The first video was a girl pulling another girl's top down. Yow. That was odd. "I can watch four HD channels at once time here."
7:33PM Showing off Bing maps... street view. Some pretty impressive 3D effects. "I want to make this a little more realistic." He switched on a snow effect -- flakes flying by. Smattering of applause for that.
7:31PM "Now, Steve, work is all done. You know I'm a huge Seahawks fan. I have a video I have to show you." Ballmer: "That's insane. It's as insane as the Seahawks season."
7:31PM They're demo'ing document syncing in Office 2010. Showing off transitions. "I see I have updates available -- it's showing me that Steve is done with his slides. I'm going to show you what this looks like." Ha! "Developers, developers, developers."
7:29PM "Steve, I'm picking you as my lab partner in Anatomy." Ballmer: "What did you say again? Anatomy?" "Yes, anatomy."
7:28PM "If I'm feeling a little lazy, I simply have my book read to me." Uh oh, here comes the Author's Guild.
7:27PM Ballmer is needling this guy. Pretty funny.
7:27PM Ah, digital reading... "All of this can be done on your PC." Oh! Blio! "This is the Blio reader. Through the bookstore, you can download over a million books."
7:26PM "Now it's time to show off some software. I'm going to play the part of a student." Groan.
7:26PM They're showing off HTPCs, the Zino and Acer Revo. Ballmer: "We had one other PC we wanted to show you... it's a PC built into a TV, but we blew the tube." The PC is rising behind them anyhow.
7:25PM Okay -- 3D gaming demo. Ballmer is going for it, glasses and all.
7:24PM Ballmer: "You don't drive very well." Ha!
7:24PM On to gaming laptops. Ooh nice -- a DirectX 11 demo.
7:23PM So THIS is what computers look like, you say?
7:23PM Now they're on to netbooks. "As you can see here, we've got lots of different colors and styles to choose from."
7:23PM "I've got the ASUS NX90 here... not only does it look great, but it has amazing sound."
7:22PM They're showing off the Adamo XPS... have you seen this anywhere lately? It's quite thin.
7:22PM "Being in Vegas, you gotta look sexy..." Ballmer: "I don't know baby!"
7:21PM He just explained desktop computers.
7:21PM Ryan: "Hey, I have some time to show you my favorite hardware and software..." Yay! Ooh, some things we haven't seen before? You don't say?
7:20PM "Now I'd like to invite Ryan Asdourian on stage to show you some Windows PCs."
7:20PM "Windows 7 is a rising tide that has lifted many businesses in our industry."
7:20PM Ballmer is touting touch, voice and other methods of input they've been pimping in Windows 7. He really loves this software. Really. Really.
7:19PM "Windows 7 allows developers to become even better. There are 4m applications for Windows 7." Well, not 4m new...
7:18PM "Look at all the kinds of systems our partners are bringing to market. There is a PC for everyone."
7:18PM "Windows 7 has 94% customer satisfaction." "Gartner predicts a 12% year over year jump in sales in 2010."
7:17PM "Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history."
7:17PM "The results speak for themselves. According to NPD Windows PC sales jumped 50% after the launch of Windows 7. And 50% holiday shopping year over year."
7:16PM "It was an unprecedented effort which included 3k engineers, 50k partners, and 8m beta testers."
7:15PM "I think we delivered on these goals in a big way. We did it by working with out customers. With you."
7:15PM "We had three goals with Win 7. First off, we wanted an experience which is faster and leaner. Second, we wanted Windows 7 to make it simpler to accomplish tasks. Third, we wanted to enable a world of new possibilities for software devs, hardware makers, and end users."
7:14PM "And of course, Windows 7."
7:14PM "We'll have a lot more to say about phones next month at Mobile World Congress."
7:14PM "The mobile space. This year we launched WM 6.5. We see new, exciting phones launching every month... like the HTC HD2... launching on T-Mobile."
7:13PM "Zune. It's getting rave reviews. We've integrated Zune Video offerings into Xbox Live. We'll continue to expand this product to other MSFT platforms."
7:12PM "Finally, Microsoft and Kia Motors announced a new in-car system is built on the Windows platform which will launch in the 3rd quarter of 2010."
7:12PM "I'm happy to report that Fiat has sold its one millionth cr with Blue & Me and eco:Drive."
7:11PM "Ford will roll out a fresh new look for Sync, built on our embedded platform."
7:11PM "We know we're at the beginning of a long journey, but we're off to a pretty good start. Tonight we continue. Microsoft and HP will team up. Bing will become the default search engine on HP products around the world."
7:10PM "We anticipate what users are really looking for. We call it a decision engine because we provide people the tools to make better decisions in their lives..."
7:09PM "Bing. We introduced a consumer service that is really resonating with users."
7:09PM "I'm more excited about 2010 and Xbox than ever before."
7:08PM "We announced project Natal, which will turn you into a controller. There are over 39 mil Xboxes around the world."
7:08PM "I'm bullish on the long term prospects of our industry. Last year was a big year for us. We delivered an amazing line up of products. I want to take a closer look at some of what we delivered in 2009. Xbox." Oh! Engadget on the screen!
7:07PM "We're providing tolls people can use and need. We're empowering people to make better decisions about their own healthcare... but this is just the beginning."
7:06PM "The last 3 decades have been stunning in their changes. The things we take for granted would have sounded like sci fi in the early 80's." Now listing off all of our familiar activities. "And we Bing, we Bing and we Bing, and we Bing Bing Bing!" Okay...
7:05PM "Last year Robbie Bach and I talked about how computing is transforming our lives -- tonight we're going to provide a view into three strategies that excite us. We want to focus on the ever evolving TV, the cloud, third is about the next revolution in natural user interface. Or NUI tech."
7:04PM Ballmer is back. "I'm really glad we could help Seth out."
7:04PM "Thanks technology... oh I'm wasting my life."
7:03PM "Before Twitter, if I wanted to know what a person thought their cat was thinking... I would have been an idiot."
7:03PM "Before eBay if I was out drinking at night, and I needed to buy a cigar store indian, I was out of luck." ha!
7:02PM "Let's see how it's helped us. Video chat. 'Hi grandma'" "Video games: before technology, I thought I was better at football than 11 year olds."
7:02PM Voice from above: "We wanted to thank tech for everything it's done for us." It's Seth Myers!
7:01PM "I thought we needed a special way to show you tonight. Let's take a look at how technology affected one person."
7:01PM "It's great to be here tonight to deliver the opening keynote for CES 2010. In case anyone missed it, this was a year of economic turbulence. But this industry really stayed focused and continued to bring new tech to the marketplace. We really did make an impact."
7:00PM Ballmer is out!
6:59PM "There are 200 conference sessions too..." Let us tell you, that is a lot of conferences. "Now I'm happy to kick off CES with Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer." Smattering of applause... but Shapiro isn't done.
6:58PM Gary Shapiro from the CEA is out. He's reminding us of what a tough year it's been. That is a good point. "But we have a record number of exhibitors, a record number of tech zones." Tech zones?
6:55PM Yeah, let's do it. Tonight IS going to be a good night.
6:54PM Okay, CEA logo is up. And now... the Black Eyed Peas -- the music, not the group. But you never know...
6:53PM Uh oh! The lights are coming down, and the music is coming up. Let's do this!
6:49PM Can you feel it coming in the air tonight? Oh lord.
6:47PM This feels longer than 5 minutes, announcer dude.
6:46PM Looks like they're almost there. Man, we sure hope so! It's time to get really real in here.
6:43PM Nice one Gregorian (from comments): "Better than a Blue Screen of Death. The Black Stage of Doom."
6:41PM PC on stage... in recovery mode.
6:40PM Phoenix, again?
6:39PM Okay, auxiliary lighting has just come on. "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, as you can see we have power again. We're going to begin again in about 5 minutes." "It's a good time to silence your cellphones, PAGERS, and... Windows Mobile devices." Nicely played, announcer guy.
6:36PM This is not a good way to kick off 2010 guys. Steve is probably bashing someone's face in right now.
6:36PM Half of the computers up on stage have died. They're now manually restarting them, but they've missed a few.
6:35PM This would explain the completely dead screens.
6:35PM "Good evening ladies and gentlemen... if anyone would remain in your seats... we're having a small power problem." What!?
6:33PM The lights are down! Sort of... they seem undecided right now. But the main screens are off.
6:32PM Microsoft sure does have a lot of these handsome, colored slides. Now light blue, and Media Center. And Windows 7 ads.
6:29PM Okay, the announcer says we're about to get underway, and we're inclined to believe him. He hasn't steered us wrong yet.
6:28PM Wow, Franz Ferdinand. Haven't heard these guys in awhile. Yet more slides now -- this time focused on gaming. Green. Obviously green.
6:25PM Ah, Zune slides now. Pink, of course. Maybe we'll see a Pink slide too. Doubtful... at least this early.
6:24PM There are a bunch of slides touting Microsoft Mediaroom... interesting. Haven't heard a lot about that lately.
6:23PM The screens have switched in the room to a large, very orange scroll of Word, Office, and PowerPoint images. Now they've switched blue to home-centric applications... Ah, we get it. Microsoft rules for work AND play!
6:22PM "We'll be starting in 10 minutes."
6:17PM No wait. It's back.
6:16PM Ooh. The music has gone dead. Ominous.
6:15PM "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, we're going to begin in 15 minutes... please turn off cellphones..." Ooh boy. This thing is happening any moment. You know how we can tell? Phoenix is getting louder on the sound system. Oh, and that announcement.