CES 2010: Microsoft Keynote a Total Disappointment

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.

More on CES 2010

  • JeanLuc
    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
  • Microsoft company is about buying other companies and trying to copy good ideas. You should not expect anything really new and exciting. So there is nothing disappointing in Microsoft´s keynote.
  • back_by_demand
    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...
  • 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.
  • gtvr
    Was there only 1 computer on the stage, or did you mean "computers"?
  • bk420
    I still haven't purchased WIN7.... with all these new android devices coming out, I hope I won't need to! yeeeehaw!
  • leon2006
    The windows environment is basically stagnant. Nothing drastically new.
  • doc70
    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.
  • seraphimcaduto
    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.
  • zelannii
    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...