Consumer Tech Trends Seen By Microsoft

During the Imagine 2011 Marketing conference in Seattle, Steve Ballmer took stage and talked about what Microsoft sees are technology trends around consumer technologies. The living room seems to be the new playground and Microsoft has a strategic advantage with the Xbox and Kinect. One of the slides from the presentation shows what Microsoft sees are going to define the current technology trends.

Ubiquitous connectivity allowing access to data over cloud using computers everywhere that have more natural user interaction and pervasive displays, with location aware services is what I conclude from the slide above. The wide array of Microsoft services and products that can offer this experience doesn’t include Zune:

Steve B made an interesting comment on television and content:

“TV means 2 things it is a form of content and a device in your living room. These two things are coming apart.”

He probably hinted at the use of mobile devices to access the living room content anywhere. Several months back, during a demo the Xbox Live team showed a virtual lounge where user avatars sat together and watched live television, while the users weren’t in close proximity physically. In another comment Steve B said he sees innovation in television devices as well as content. According to him social networks, video games and TV programs will come together to provide a new experience for consumers in terms of content. Here’s a video of Steve B on stage at Imagine 11:

Mimi Ito, another speaker at the event mentioned that interest-driven interaction isn’t as common as friendship-driven interaction among teens. This probably explains why Microsoft is looking to integrate Facebook into Bing.