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