Microsoft @ CES: Rumors vs Keynote & A Disappointed Fan

Image Credit: Long Zheng

By now everyone has weighed in on Steve Ballmer’s keynote at CES. Joe Wilcox and Farhad Manjoo seem to have hit the key points about the exhibition. My loyalties and biases are well known. Before the keynote I did a rumor round up, to sum up:

  • New version of Windows (for Tablets) – Windows 8?
  • Verizon/Sprint Windows Phone 7 & WP7 SP1
  • Windows TV? Google TV and Apple TV Competitor
  • Xbox Kinect Avatar

I said there would be no Windows 8, I was wrong but pointed out that Xbox would remain the center of Microsoft’s living room strategy. Back to the point, Steve Ballmer’s announcements were in line with the rumors but the keynote did not impress since it lacked big announcements.

Looking back, Microsoft in my opinion dropped the ball by two missteps:

  1. Showing the Surface v2 at the press conference.
  2. Not showing Touch Mouse at all.

Steve B was great on stage but the keynote sounded more like a presentation for Microsoft stake holders not gadget enthusiasts. Almost every tech enthusiast knew about the Surface v2 before the keynote and no one knew about the (really good) Microsoft Multitouch mouse even after the keynote.

Not to mention what disappointed me more was Microsoft clearly indicating that their tablet strategy is for next year with Windows 8 and SoC.

As a tech enthusiast I was left wanting more. I’d rather see Steve B talk up the Surface and the multitouch mouse to wow the crowd than have strategies sent my way – that’s what boring press releases are for or a more Microsoft focused event than a gadget exhibition.