Once again we're on the ground to deliver all the news from Microsoft's much-talked about CES 2011 keynote event! Will we see new Windows Phone 7 devices or software? An appearance of Windows 8? A slew of new tablets? Xbox advancements? Media Center updates? The Courier? We kid.
One thing you can count on is that we're delivering everything fresh and as-it-happens -- capturing every minute of Steve Ballmer's rage-filled presentation with the kind of joy only Engadget can deliver. So tune back in at 9:30 EST / 6:30 PST for all the action!
7:46PM Nah, just a trick of the light.
7:46PM Wait, were Steve and Gary Shapiro just making out?
7:46PM And that's it for us! Thanks for reading!
7:46PM And... can you hear that? That's the sound of Microsoft missing a major cycle on tablets.
7:45PM "I want to thank everybody so much for your time -- have a wonderful new year, and a fantastic CES. It's been my pleasure!"
7:45PM "Windows PCs will continue to adapt and evolve. Windows will be everywhere on every device without compromise." Another threat.
7:44PM Steve just said Windows Phone 7 is the best phone out there. We don't know Steve. Would be nice if it had multitasking.
7:43PM "This is an exciting time for the industry and the consumer. That's the power of this announcement. Whatever device you use... Windows will be there." That sounds like a threat.
7:43PM Ballmer is about to wrap up.
7:43PM "What you're seeing here today is Windows -- real Windows -- running on the next generation of SOCs."
7:42PM This is a big shift for Microsoft moving forward as ARM systems rise in popularity, but as you might imagine, the consumer facing implications are far more cloudy. This is great for the company as it won't be left behind on systems coming down the pipe... but there is nothing outwardly exciting about what is happening on these computers. They are simply running a version of stock Windows.
7:41PM Word is here -- a build recompiled for ARM. "This is Word on Windows, on ARM."
7:40PM Now Mike is showing the ARM version. "This is running live, this is Windows running natively on ARM." Of course, your applications WON'T work on the ARM system.
7:40PM Microsoft is actually touting compatibility with Windows applications as a feature. "All of that is working today." This is on the Intel x86 system. So your Windows applications will work on a Windows PC -- pretty cool right?
7:39PM Steve: "Future version of Windows with the current user interface."
7:39PM Mike is back. Earlier today the company showed off SOC systems running Windows. This is the "next generation of Windows," but it looks just like WIndows 7. The company isn't showing user interface changes (if there are any). Imagine Windows 7. There, you've got it.
7:37PM "Mike had a chance to show you some of what's shipping -- but I'd like to show you what's in store."
7:37PM "Windows support for SOCs is an important step for Microsoft and the industry. People expect a lot from their devices -- power, long battery life... Windows has the depth and flexibility to deliver this to customers."
7:36PM "We're very excited about the next set of partners -- both x86 and ARM."
7:35PM "Earlier today we talked about the next version of Windows -- we said it'll support SOC architecture from Intel, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, AMD, and Texas Instruments."
7:35PM "I can't tell you how excited I am about these systems as a user."
7:34PM Back to Steve. "Only the imagination limits what PCs can be today."
7:34PM "You're going to see Surface in a lot of places. Steve, if you come back out, let's look at what twenty fingers on the screen looks like." Yep, twenty digits.
7:33PM Awesome touch tech from Microsoft on the Surface, but the company is limiting it only to commercial uses which is kind of a downer. Why not bring this tech to tablets Microsoft?
7:32PM New Surface is out now -- this is the version that we saw earlier with the crazy PixelSense tech which is able to use each pixel as an individual camera, which means you can put a piece of paper on the display, and it will read the text you've written on it. The screen also uses infrared sensors for touch input.
7:31PM All of these systems are up for order right now, the man tells us.
7:30PM Mike is showing off ASUS' new 12-inch Windows 7 tablet, which also does stylus input. The device uses palm rejection, so you don't end up with mistakes while writing. It knows not to respond to palm touches if the stylus is down.
7:28PM Now onto the Samsung PC7, announced earlier today.
7:28PM Now Mike is moving to the Acer dual screen that we recently saw. The audience loves it.
7:27PM That price isn't Macish -- less than $500.
7:27PM Now he's moved to the HP DM1. Looks so Macish. AMD Fusion inside, of course.
7:26PM Mike is showing the Galactic performance demo -- all in IE9 with hardware acceleration.
7:25PM Mike is showing off Sandybridge systems -- a lot of the stuff we've seen so far at CES.
7:25PM "I'd like to invite Mike Angiulo to show you some new PCs."
7:24PM "Customers have come to expect the full power of the PC across a wide range of form factors."
7:24PM "A year ago our partners were just getting started with Windows PCs -- there are more systems at this CES than ever before."
7:23PM "We had some announcements today, and I want to put them in context. Last year we talked about how great the Windows 7 reception was... it's selling 7 copies a second. It's the best place to experience the modern web. IE9 is a leap forward in what devs can do. Today 20m people are already using the IE9 beta. We shipped a new release of Windows Live to over 500m people around the world."
7:22PM "When I get a chance to show people Windows Phone, they tell me how snappy it is, how personal it feels, and importantly, how beautiful it looks. There's one more product that I'd like to talk about -- that's the Windows PC."
7:21PM And Ballmer is back!
7:21PM Liz says the next version of the OS will load games and apps a lot faster.
7:20PM Oh! Liz just showed off some copy and paste. It works, so that's good. Right now she's basically showing off every basic feature of Windows Phone 7. If you really want a deep dive on that, check out our review -- though we'll warn you, we're far less blond.
7:19PM Point number six: fantastic apps. Big name apps. Fandango, Amazon, Bank of America.
7:18PM Hugs would be an amazing feature of a smartphone. We would buy that phone.
7:18PM Point five: Hubs. Not hugs, as we initially heard it.
7:18PM Point number four: Bing and decide. "I'm curious how the Miami Heat did against the Bucks... bam! I get the score. I can do this for stocks, sports scores, flight info, and more."
7:16PM Ballmer is pleased.
7:16PM "I want to pick a classy place for dinner tonight... In and Out."
7:16PM "When we're done tonight, we're going to a big team dinner that I was supposed to plan -- and that brings us to number three... voice search."
7:15PM Number two: Glance and go. Liz is telling us about live tiles. "They're alive, and they change." Like The Blob?
7:14PM Quick note -- Liz took an upside down picture.
7:14PM "First, the camera -- how many times have you missed a shot because it takes so long to get to the camera? We thought we could do better..." Ah yes, the jump-to-camera trick we saw at the WP7 launch.
7:13PM "If your life is anything like mine, you're busy, so I want to show you 7 great things that are great for people like us."
7:13PM Whoa -- this lady is seriously amped up.
7:12PM "We're realeasing an update soon -- including an update that adds copy and paste, and improves speed. We'll also make the phones avilable on Verizon and Sprint in the first half of 2011. I want you all to see this phone, so please welcome Liz Sloan from the Windows Phone team."
7:12PM "However, job #1 is showing this phone to people. When people see it, they fall in love with. The result is very high enthusiasm. 9 out of 10 customers at AT&T say they recommend the product to others. We're investing aggressively in the future."
7:11PM "In the past few weeks alone, we've added great new titles: Kindle, Bank of America, Fruit Ninja -- there are already 5500 apps in the Marketplace. 100 apps a day. 20,000 devs have registered with us."
7:10PM "We pulled together the best of Office, Windows, Xbox, Xbox Live, Bing, and more to focus on building a great phone. The reaction to the product has been great. We launched 9 phones across 60 countries."
7:09PM "Windows Phone 7 is different from other phones. We asked different questions -- could we make them do more? Could we make them easy to use? This is a phone uniquely designed to delight smartphone customers. We made it easier and faster for people to get things done."
7:08PM We definitely saw some new zombie titles in there.
7:07PM Oh nice! Game Room for Windows Phone!
7:07PM A video demo of Xbox on WP7 is happening now. Looks like some new title are on the way.
7:06PM "All of the money you earn goes to your character on the Xbox." Nice.
7:06PM "Fable is coming to Windows Phone 7 -- Fable Coin Golf."
7:06PM Now Steve is talking about Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7.
7:05PM "You're going to see more innovation from our team in 2011. The Xbox is becoming the hub of your living room. It's your TV, it's your sporting events, your social interactions, all delivered to the biggest screen in your house."
7:04PM "We predicted we'd sell about 5m of Kinect sensors... we beat that... we sold over 8m sensors worldwide."
7:04PM "There are 30m Xbox Live members. Xbox has been the number one selling console for the last 6 months in the US. We've sold 50 million units worldwide."
7:03PM Coming in Spring!
7:03PM "Avatar Kinect will be free for all Xbox Live gold members."
7:03PM Ballmer is back out "Maybe it's just me, but that avatar was pretty darn bald!"
7:02PM Whoa -- Avatar Kinect is a place where you can virtually hang out with your "friends.'
7:01PM "Everyone who uses Kinect knows it tracks your voice and body, but what about your face? It can track your smile, your eyebrows, your laugh... we call this Avatar Kinect."
7:00PM Ha! Ballmer is back as an avatar!
7:00PM "There you have it -- all of your entertainment. Movies, music, TV, and sports. It's all happening right now. Thanks for your time!"
7:00PM Ron is showing off some of the interactive features of ESPN -- this is the College Bowl Showdown, where you can vote on which team you think will win.
6:59PM Ron loves watching football and trash talking. He likes the convenience of trash talking via the Xbox.
6:57PM "Let's talk sports -- it's all about ESPN."
6:57PM It'll have Kinect controls as well. Nice!
6:57PM Also, Hulu Plus coming to Xbox Live!
6:57PM "You can't find this anywhere else. But people have been asking, 'what about Netflix?' -- two years ago Xbox was the first to bring Netflix to the Xbox, tonight I can say we will be bringing Kinect to Netflix."
6:56PM Now Ron is running us through music. He's jamming to the Tron:Legacy soundtrack. He also liked Tron:Legacy.
6:55PM "That's how easy it is to control movies with the Kinect -- you don't even have to remember where the remote control is." Zing! Take that, remote control.
6:54PM Uh oh, Twilight: Eclipse. Ron claims he started watching it last night. We don't know how he was able to stop!
6:54PM Ron thinks Inception was "awesome."
6:53PM Now we're checking out some Kinect navigation... voice nav.
6:53PM Ron is listing off all of the awesome features of Zune streaming for videos.
6:52PM "As we speak today, millions of people around the world are enjoying their TV, music, and movies on demand through Xbox Live. Millions more are playing blockbuster titles on it. Let's take a look at how you control all of your entertainment with connect, and a sneak peek at what's coming. Ron Forbes is here to show us -- Ron?"
6:51PM Ashley Tisdale! Nick Cannon! Kinect rules the school.
6:51PM Ballmer is just chilling on stage.
6:51PM "These products have made 2010 the biggest in Xbox's history." And it's video time -- a video touting Xbox's crazy year! Hey, remember that new Xbox. Pretty cool.
6:50PM "And just two months ago, we took our boldest step... Kinect. You are the controller. And there's nothing else like it in the world."
6:49PM "But entertainment goes beyond gaming, to include music, movies, Facebook and more."
6:49PM "A decade ago we took a step forward to transform home entertainment. We started with the Xbox -- it transported 10s of millions of people into the world of Halp, COD, and others... the next step was Xbox Live, that put Xbox front and center in the social gaming revolution."
6:48PM "The products I mentioned stem from big tech bets that we've made. Tonight at CES, we want to share with you not only what we've done, but what's coming next. We're going to show you impacts of those bets through 3 devices. TV, phone, and PC."
6:48PM "I want to say thanks to our 1b customers."
6:47PM "Good evening and welcome. 2010 was a very exciting year for our customers. We launched WP7, Office 2010, and Kinect. We saw growth in Bing and Azure, and with the amazing success of Windows 7, it's been a year like no other."
6:47PM "Please welcome Steve Ballmer!" Big cheers for Steve.
6:46PM Wow -- extremely tripping Tron-like graphics are happening.
6:46PM Gary is doing Steve's bio. "Please join me in welcoming Microsoft!"
6:45PM "Described as focus, funny, and passionate, he's infused Microsoft with his own sense of leadership."
6:44PM This guy loves Microsoft.
6:44PM Gary is listing off some of the killer talent they pulled here. He's doing Steve's intro now.
6:43PM "We are thrilled to have a diverse lineup of executives here."
6:43PM Oh noes, Gary Shapiro is plugging his book, 'The Comeback' -- drat! It worked!
6:42PM "We're hosting the World Electronics Forums here. CES continues to innovate with more than 20 tech zones."
6:41PM G. Shapiro is letting us know just how many awesome events and booths we'll be able to check out. "CES is always reinventing itself -- full of exciting new ideas and events."
6:41PM "Welcome to the international CES. This is my favorite week of the year. The show is bigger than it was last year, thanks to the recovering economy and innovation."
6:40PM CEA prez Gary Shapiro is out!
6:40PM 'We're gonna rock this club, we're gonna go all night' -- well, until 9PM at least.
6:39PM Pics are coming, we hope.
6:39PM Oh right, first we're getting some CES fluff pieces. Dynamite is on the stereo. And by stereo, we mean gigantic soundsystem. On the screens which flank the stage, we're getting scenes of CES action. Hot action.
6:38PM This is happening!
6:38PM Lights are going down...
6:35PM Just to let you guys and gals know, the bandwidth in here is super duper ultra bad. It's like being in a tomb inside a coffin inside a box inside a garbage can.
6:34PM We're just so thankful that no one is playing the Black Eyed Peas.
6:33PM Okay the music is off... now there's more music.
6:32PM "Please silence your phones... " Here we go people. Remember, we're in this together!
6:31PM Somewhere deep in the recesses of this Vegas venue, Steve Ballmer is grooving.
6:28PM LCD Soundsystem on the er... soundsystem.
6:27PM The music is blaring, people are screaming, a woman fainted. Yes, it's Microsoft at CES! We're in our seats and the action is about to begin. Hang tight!