The annual Consumer Electronics Show is going to be so boring this year that even Bill Gates is not showing up. He gave his farewell keynote (and his 13th) last year. This year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will try to rouse the crowd.
Ballmer is a high-energy guy who can be entertaining to watch, but Microsoft just doesn’t have anything exciting to announce this year. (Who does, right?). When Ballmer takes the stage at the Venetian in Las Vegas on Wednesday night it is going to be hard for the audience to stay awake no matter how much he yells at them.
Here’s what Ballmer will “announce” at CES:
- Windows 7, the successor to Vista, will officially enter public beta (you can already read about it here).
- Windows Mobile will support Flash by the end of the first quarter. (This was demoed at an Adobe conference in November).
- Two new Halo titles will be released for the xBox in 2009 (something else we know already, whoopee).
- Home networking made easy! (I’m not kidding. This Microsoft’s big advance, making it easy for multiple PCs in your home to find each other and share files. Microsoft has been trying to simplify home networking since at least Windows95, and Apple pretty much figured it out with Bonjour (introduced as Rendezvous in 2002).
This is what Microsoft is briefing reporters on as news. Under embargo, no less. (We don’t do embargoes anymore, and didn’t get briefed in this case). Maybe Ballmer will surprise us with a Zune phone or something. (Blue screen of death on your mobile, anyone?). But don’t count on it. Wake me up when CES is over.
(Photo by obbino).