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CES 2010: Microsoft Keynote a Total Disappointment

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

Despite high hopes for the Slate PC debut, the Microsoft Keynote at CES 2010 was a complete fizzle.

What's the deal, Microsoft?

There is very little in the way of positive comments for Steve Ballmer and the house that Gates built after its less than stellar keynote/press conference. Before the keynote even started, a power outage in the conference hall delayed the start by 10-15 minutes and put all the computers on the stage into Recovery Mode.

Confirmed details for Natal (coming in time for Christmas 2010) and the Windows Mobile flagship HD2 from HTC (launching on T-Mobile this Spring) are great. However, the Microsoft keynote was all sizzle and no steak...or at least no new steak.

When it came to "new" hardware during the keynote, many of the products on the stage were already announced or already on sale. The Asus G51 gaming laptop has been on sale since the mobile Core i7 chips were released, and the same goes for products like the Toshiba Qosmio X505 laptop, Dell ZinoHD mini PC, and several all-in-one desktops.

The one shining moment during the keynote was the introduction of the slate PCs, from companies including Pegatron and HP. These keyboard-less tablet PCs are about the size of a Kindle, run Windows 7, and (probably) have the latest ULV or Atom chips under the hood. I say probably because no specs were released, and all we know for sure are the hardware partners and Windows 7 as the OS.

Besides Ballmer showing off the HP Slate and its Kindle eReader software, the Microsoft keynote was a total disappointment. There was a lot of talk about Windows 7 sales figures, as well as speeches about the solid future the tech industry has after a shaky last couple of years. If Microsoft really wanted to instill confidence and enthusiasm in the audience (the part that wasn't comprised of Microsoft employees), then it failed miserably.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 7, 2010 8:53 AM
    So Microsoft should delay the release of any good products just to satisfy the morbid curiosity of a few expo journalists.

    "Sorry guys, all out good stuff we already released a few months ago"

    Don't they get any credit for not feeding sensationalist propaganda? Or are we reserving our Ooo and Ahh reflex for the inevitable Apple offering from Steve "PT Barnum" Jobs, the consumate showman and bullshit vendor...
  • 12 Hide
    JeanLuc , January 7, 2010 8:39 AM
    Is that really the best picture you could find of Steve Ballmer or do you simply don't like the guy?

    I wish Microsoft would give up on Windows Mobile it's arguably the worst mobile OS on the market today and HYC should stick to Google's Android which was very successful on the G1
  • 11 Hide
    doc70 , January 7, 2010 11:53 AM
    yes, MS gets bashed for actually releasing their products when they're ready, not when the media hogs are ready. And who's doing the bashing? The media, of course. Nothing new here.
    I can't wait for Steve Jobs to pull his next rabbit out of his sleeve and watch all the media go ballistic over it.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    JeanLuc , January 7, 2010 8:39 AM
    Is that really the best picture you could find of Steve Ballmer or do you simply don't like the guy?

    I wish Microsoft would give up on Windows Mobile it's arguably the worst mobile OS on the market today and HYC should stick to Google's Android which was very successful on the G1
  • 28 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 7, 2010 8:53 AM
    So Microsoft should delay the release of any good products just to satisfy the morbid curiosity of a few expo journalists.

    "Sorry guys, all out good stuff we already released a few months ago"

    Don't they get any credit for not feeding sensationalist propaganda? Or are we reserving our Ooo and Ahh reflex for the inevitable Apple offering from Steve "PT Barnum" Jobs, the consumate showman and bullshit vendor...
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , January 7, 2010 10:31 AM
    No company is obligated to release anything new at a keynote... Apple did the same thing within the past few years. It's no big deal.
  • 0 Hide
    gtvr , January 7, 2010 11:07 AM
    Was there only 1 computer on the stage, or did you mean "computers"?
  • 11 Hide
    doc70 , January 7, 2010 11:53 AM
    yes, MS gets bashed for actually releasing their products when they're ready, not when the media hogs are ready. And who's doing the bashing? The media, of course. Nothing new here.
    I can't wait for Steve Jobs to pull his next rabbit out of his sleeve and watch all the media go ballistic over it.
  • 9 Hide
    seraphimcaduto , January 7, 2010 12:09 PM
    A lackluster Keynote for Microsoft and people here are forgiving, while if any other companies have something similar (say a certain fruit company) and people here are taking pot shots. Now I know I'm going to get flamed for that last comment, but I should say that Microsoft FINALLY got it's act together with windows 7 and I can be a happy MS user again.
  • 1 Hide
    zelannii , January 7, 2010 12:40 PM
    It's a bit tough for a software vendor at an electronics trade show, but still since M$ doesn't actually MAKE PCs, there really should have been no mention at all of PC hardware, Win7, etc, that was just a marketing attack...

    No mention of Zune? New controllers for xbox360 not coming until xmas? No BlueRay for xbox announcement? No upgraded or slim version xbox hardware? No TV manufacturers with MCE extensions for home media sharing? No real discussion of WinMo7? Seriously, 3 tablets based on Win7, with no discussion of what the hardware itself will/won't do and no live demo of cool Apple-esque tricks, that's just a media attention grap...

    BOOOO!
  • 2 Hide
    thackstonns , January 7, 2010 12:54 PM
    bk420I still haven't purchased WIN7.... with all these new android devices coming out, I hope I won't need to! yeeeehaw!


    What does android have anything to do with Windows 7. Android is for phones. Chrome will be for underpowered netbooks, and net tops, and maybe phones. If you are so anti Microsoft throw Linux on your machine, see how you like that. Or go with an Apple. If you dont like Microsoft quit using thier product.
  • 2 Hide
    lowguppy , January 7, 2010 1:19 PM
    This kind of makes up for all the times you guys post BBC stories the next day:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8444672.stm
  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , January 7, 2010 1:40 PM
    All those who complain against windows mobile need to remember that it is the only OS that gives everyone tethering no matter what and the carrier doesn't get to change it. You don't have to "root" the thing or any of that weirdness. Also, I do have to use its advanced security features (digitally signing or encrypting emails, certificate managed, etc.). Corporations that don't demand such features are at risk of having their intellectual property fall into the wrong hands.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 7, 2010 1:42 PM
    From the above BBC article

    Devin Connors of Tom's Hardware.
    "It looked really good given the short amount of time we saw it for and it has Windows 7. Everyone loves Windows 7 and putting it in a device the size of an e-reader is probably going to be a winning combination."

    Devin, I have to ask, why do the two statements have such drastically shifting polarity? One sounds miserable and uninspiring, the other bouyant and entheusiastic? Are you taking any medication? Do you need a hug?
  • -5 Hide
    stratplaya , January 7, 2010 1:44 PM
    This Devin Conners sounds like an Apple fan boy (or girl).
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 7, 2010 2:00 PM
    stratplayaThis Devin Conners sounds like an Apple fan boy (or girl).

    That's bollocks
    Quote:
    Everyone loves Windows 7

    Direct quote
  • 2 Hide
    apmyhr , January 7, 2010 2:01 PM
    What does Microsoft, HP, and other companies have to do to their tablets in order for the media to say they are new and creative? Let me guess, they have to put the logo of a certain fruit on it while releasing it in only mono-chromatic white.

    The HP slate looked very interesting. Small, pretty, has Windows 7. But I guess its going to be a piece of crap since it wont have access to the iPhone Apps store. Naw, instead it will just have access to the billions of applications built for Windows PC. But who's counting anyways?
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 7, 2010 2:06 PM
    apmyhrBut who's counting anyways?

    Lay the irony on a little thicker, some people still dont get it...
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 7, 2010 2:11 PM
    My understanding of MS showing Windows 7 on a slate device is to show the touch capabilities of the OS, right?

    The lightness of the specs for the actual tablet therefore have no bearing on the demonstration by MS, isn't it the responsibility of someone employed by HP to take the stage and wax lyrical about the hardware specs?
  • 2 Hide
    noobiggie , January 7, 2010 2:29 PM
    Off topic..I set up an account just to ask Tom's when they're going to get rid of these ads with half naked men on them telling me to build my muscles. People at work are starting to ask if I'm looking at porn. All I want to see are benchmarks!
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