CES 2011: Microsoft dominates
Microsoft stole the show at this year's Consumer Electronics Conference
Microsoft dominated this year's CES in Las Vegas. The star of the show was, undoubtedly, the new Asus Eee Slate, which was unveiled (from about 41 mins into the video which is well worth watching) during the opening keynote address delivered by Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.
A few samples of the new generation of tablet devices running Windows revealed alongside the latest offering from Asus, but the Aee Slate is impossible to beat -- it's the world's most powerful tablet, by far. The Asus Eee Slate is a full-power PC running Windows 7, with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB memory, 64BG solid-state hard drive, fast wireless networking and Bluetooth, full HD (1080p) with HDMI out, and more! It goes on sale this month, and is already available to pre-order at the Microsoft Store and on Amazon. Best of all, the Eee slate only costs about £700 ($999)! [Of course, these are just the first in a new generation of mobile devices running the full Windows OS, and the hardware will only get better and cheaper from here.]
The tech blog Mashable perfectly captured the spirit of the keynote in one headline: "Microsoft wows CES crowd with Windows 7-powered tablets". Microsoft's keynote was a bit long for the less hardcore techies, but it impressed the crowd and delivered in terms of showing-off new gadgets (which is what CES is really about). Several times, Ballmer's presentation was punctuated by frequent applause, and a few times he had to wait for while the cheering to die down before continuing.
CES 2011 Keynote Speech
Source: Microsoft's News Centre.
Some of the new tablet devices shown at CES, for example running the Android OS, were blatantly vapourware. The web is already littered with "hands-on demos" of these devices, which in fact people weren't allowed to handle, and what you saw on screen was literally just a video playing -- not real interaction. In contrast, the new Windows 7 tablets were available to play with, some were on show in the Microsoft booth, and some go on sale this month. Let's face facts. Microsoft has won the war. Apple and Google both brought a knife to a gun fight.
The dilemma faced by Apple and Google is embodied beautifully by the dual-boot Windows/Android breed of tablet unveiled at CES. THere is literally no reason whatsoever to use Android when you have Windows. There's so much you can do on Windows that you can't on Android, and anything you can do on Android you can do on Windows (and do it better). On the other hand, wait, let me just close down Photoshop, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and IE9 so I can boot-up Android and download the tilting beer glass app from the Android Marketplace -- I don't think so! ;)
The keynote also included some amazing demos, I only wish I had time to write about all of them. If I have time later, I'll update this page with some thoughts on the new Microsoft Surface 2.0, Windows Phone 7, Kinect, some of the new features on Xbox, and more of the best stuff announced at CES 2011.
Some interesting facts mentioned at CES 2011
- More than 7 copies of Windows 7 are sold every second.
- Windows is the fastest-selling OS of all time.
- A new member joins Xbox Live every two seconds.
- 8 million Kinect units were sold within two months of it being launched.
10 January 2011