A final pre-show keynote by Microsoft’s Bill Gates, as well as innovative product launches and partnership announcements created a buzz among attendees on the eve of the 2008 International CES. Produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, the 2008 International CES opened yesterday in Vegas and runs through 1/10.
In his presentation, Gates described the "next digital decade," distinguished by an expanding HD experience. He predicted that displays will be everywhere, including walls and desks. In addition, all devices will be service-connected, which will relieve users from having to bridge between content and devices. Gates noted that next digital decade also will see the power of the natural user interface take hold, with "touch" technology and speech recognition appearing in more products.
Gates also announced a major partnership with NBC, in which MSN will be the exclusive online provider of live, on demand footage from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Over 3,000 hours of footage will be available at NBCOlympics.com.
Gates introduced on stage Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division. Bach reported on the momentum of Xbox Live, which has surpassed 10 million members, and announced a partnership with MGM, in which the entertainment company will provide a library of films for Xbox Live.
Building from the growing success of Microsoft’s partnership with Ford for Sync, the in-car entertainment and communication system, Bach also announced the expansion of Sync to Ford’s Lincoln and Mercury brands.