Tonight at CES Bill Gates delivered his final CES (and perhaps final in the industry) keynote. The key announcements included a partnership with NBC to deliver video online for *every single sport* at the Olympics – some 3600 hours in total and I think he indicated close to real time. Also impressive was Microsoft’s work with partner “Tellme” and MS mapping to bring powerful voice and map navigation capabilities to the mobile space. They noted that mobile advertising will be some (11 billion?) by 2011, and that although they feel PCs will remain very important it’s clearly the mobile phone space where a lot of key innovation will be seen.
Back at MIX06 I noted that Microsoft had not yet embraced the social media revolution that clearly was going to dominate the online experience. I think they have now done so, but they may be too late. The demos of something called “Zune Social” were neat, but I noted the key feature was the ability to integrated with a Facebook profile. I’d argue that Open Social (or some variation on that theme), that is very largely company agnostic, will ultimately prevail. I didn’t get the idea Zune Social would be a big winner over time, but …
(posted from the CES Bloghaus! Thanks Seagate and Podtech!)
Update: Engadget will have an interview up soon
Bill Gates: Guitar Hero!
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
At the CES Keynote – Bill Gates’ last after some 8 years in a row – he introduced a handful of new Microsoft innovations, but the highlight of the show was a very uncharacteristically self-deprecating video that featured dozens of celebrities “talking” to Bill about his post Microsoft plans. From Hilary Clinton to Bono, Bill’s rejection list grew. The video was a real crowd pleaser in an otherwise pretty unabashed Microsoft marketing pitch. At the end of the talk Gate’s engaged in a Guitar Hero competition where his opponent, MS’s chief of gaming tech, brought in the champion at Guitar Hero. Bill countered with a visit from Slash himself to close the keynote.
More: Bloghaus is now open and John Furrier looks like he’ll do a great job blogging CES. Of course it would be nice would be to get some clues about what Furrier and Scoble are up to with the new non-Podtech startup thing they’ll announce after CES, but I don’t blame them for keeping it a secret during the CES news maelstrom which started … today.
One of the contrasts I’m already noting between this conference and the pure internet conferences is that here it seems many people are only “just starting” to understand the importance and significance of online social media where at the internet conferences this is a given, and in fact many Silicon Valley businesses fail because they don’t realize how most regular folks could care less about many aspects of the social media revolution – they’ll wait for mass adoption rather than become early adopters.
In the gaming session discussing Massively Multiplayer Online games the most interesting observations were about the nexus of socializing and games, though how this would play out did not seem clear to any of the panelists. I’ll try to write more on that session later, but key points were the potential growth of simple free games like Maplestory & Runescape and how those games were monetizing using “micropayments”, where users buy small game items with real money. Also interesting was the discussion of the “secondary markets” where game features are bought and sold for real money. Based on the enthusiasm of the panelists, I think this is a really interesting market to watch.
Franklin Paul at Reuters has good coverage of the CES Press Conference where HD-DVD is trying to dispel the rumors of impending doom: http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2008/01/06/toshiba-defiant-says-hd-dvd-down-not-out/
So far the Blu-Ray smackdown of HD-DVD is probably the big story at CES, though it’s not clear to me that all the early rumors of people leaving and cancelled events were true, not to mention the rumor of an estimated 500MM payment from SONY to Warner.
You have new Picture Mail!
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
I haven’t been in this one yet, but the Venetian venue is really impressive – lots of PCs, TV, and comfort. I’d love to know the decisions involved in encouraging bloggers. It’s very smart marketing for CES to have a lot fo buzz, but they got that anyway from mainstream press. I’m hoping Scoble has some insider info about the decision to be so “inclusive” for bloggers.
Interestingly the badges are a different color – white – and they don’t scan them for the sessions. Maybe it’s a glitch, because it would be good info for CES to have regarding blogs / press and attendance.
Posting this from the Venetian/Sands venue bloggers Lounge. CES has done a great job for bloggers at this year’s conference, though I’ll be very interested to see how the press folks respond to the “invasion” of citizen journalists at CES. The bloggers lounges appear to be nicer than the press rooms and I’m still digesting that little trend.
The blog lounge over at Convention Center opens *tomorrow*, and it is located in the back of the south hall.
I’m off to the discussion of MMORPG, console, and PC gaming. I just did a lot of research about that for a Tech Insight Community project so I’m anxious to see how the presenters line up with what I learned from that … more later about this.
CES 2008 Las Vegas – North HallOriginally uploaded by JoeDuck.Working my way from South to North Hall of the Convention Center for the discussion about MMORPG gaming that’ll be in N253. I’ve been to this convention center several times but never to an event of this size – it’s a swirling hive of activity today – mostly exhibitors setting up the big high tech displays and display rooms, and hundreds of CES staff learning the ropes. They’ve been *very* friendly and courteous so far but the onslaught of people doesn’t happen until tomorrow. Huge Kudos to them if they can keep up the smiles and helpfulness.
I’m not finding many CES blog posts yet – I think the Scoble & Microsoft Express Blogger Bus has not arrived yet from Silcon Valley…
Here’s Dean T
Las Vegas Convention Center = power!
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck.
Power is everywhere here at CES Las Vegas. Here, the little carts that run workers around all over the place are charging up.
CES 2008 has begun but most of the exhibits are now in the frantic construction stage before the Exhibit halls open tomorrow morning. It’s been fun walking around without any responsibilities to set up these *huge* display areas.