Ballmer keynote recap: Xbox, Natal, Media Room 2.0, and more

Tonight CES 2010 was officially kicked off when Steve Ballmer took the stage for Microsoft's CES 2010 keynote. Even with a 20 minute delay due to a power outage, Steve Ballmer took the stage enthusiastically and had quite a bit to announce. While this year's announcements are nothing like last year's announcements, Steve Ballmer had a lot to say.

According to Ballmer, 2009 was a big year for Microsoft. Ballmer announced that Windows 7 was by far the fastest selling operating system in history with PC sales jumped nearly 50% the week Windows 7 launched. Ballmer added that Bing saw major progress by adding 11 million new users. Xbox and Xbox LIVE also set new records in 2009 with over 39 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world, and more than 500 million games have been sold.

Here's a recap of Ballmer's announcements:

  • A new touch-enabled slate PC from HP
  • New Xbox games coming: Mass Effect 2 (Jan 26), Splinter Cell (February), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 new content packs, Fable III, Crackdown 2, Alan Wake, Halo Reach (Fall of 2010),
  • HP and Microsoft have teamed to launch Bing as the default search engine and MSN as the default homepage on HP PC's in 42 countries worldwide.
  • The HTC HD2 will be available to T-Mobile consumers later this year.
  • Mediaroom 2.0 is now available, with AT&T U-verse being compatible.
  • Project Natal will be available by the holiday season 2010, more information coming on that soon.

It looks like any news regarding Windows Mobile 7 will be at Mobile World Congress in February. Microsoft is planning on the Xbox platform to be the biggest hit of 2010, with all of the games mentioned above being released as well as Project Natal being ready for the holiday season later this year. All-in-all Microsoft's keynote this year wasn't the most exciting we've seen, but is definately going to please Xbox fans around the world.

You can view our archived version of our live bloghere (Kudos to special guest Matthew Arkin, Microsoft Partner, for joing us) as well as the full press release of Microsoft's announcements here.

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Now that was a boring keynote, didnt watch it live so watched it this morning... nothing new apart from the tablet devices and wasnt that impressed. Would liked to have had some more info on Windows Live services.

Guess Microsoft burned themselves out with Windows 7 this year to do anything new or interesting ... no cool surface stuff or anything unfortunately.

I think they'd rather CES be left to their partners to show off any new hardware they have than what new stuff MS might have like the courior etc. That's just the feeling I get from having seen the last 3 or 4 keynotes.

More often then not if it's something specific hardware wise, MS has their own shows that they use to show them off in detail. Like MiX for mobile and WinHEC for other things. That's when I think they first showed off the surface iirc? And then there's ofc E3 for Xbox stuff and so on. CES is more general and more about stuff being done by others like Sharp and toshiba and so on.

I am looking forward to seeing what MS announce about Windows Phone 7.

Just a quick note regarding the bullet point saying:

HP and Microsoft have teamed to launch Bing as the default search engine and MSN as the default homepage on HP PC's in 42 countries worldwide.

Shouldn't that actually read as follows:
HP has been bribed and paid obscene amounts of money by Microsoft to launch Bing as the default search engine and MSN as the default homepage on HP PC's in 42 countries worldwide.

:P

Bribe is such a tackless word. I think youll find HP is getting cheaper Windows 7 licenses on all the machines that have this

Jelly2003 said,
I am looking forward to seeing what MS announce about Windows Phone 7.

Just a quick note regarding the bullet point saying:

Shouldn't that actually read as follows:

:P

Soo Funny yet soo true!

Jelly2003 said,
I am looking forward to seeing what MS announce about Windows Phone 7.

Just a quick note regarding the bullet point saying:

Shouldn't that actually read as follows:

:P

Well of course, because Google never pays anyone to set it as the default search engine, install Google Maps, or install Google Desktop...

Oh, wait, Google does pay/bribe most of the OEMs to do this.

Your comment is semi-funny, but it separates people from reality in purporting Microsoft is doing anything different than what other companys have done and still do every day.

This is what happens when bloggers speculate on rumors. Microsoft never said a word about the courier nor did they hint about it nor did they comment on th rumor/speculation. The interwebz went crazy announcing a prototype that hasn't been seen in the wild is the savior and killer of a certain yet to be existent "apple tray". When it didn't happen everyone is disappointed. People these days need to take a spoon full of salt along with the sugar and vitamins Mary Poppins gives every night.

Whatever Microsoft does wont make you think any less of them, what ever any other company does makes Microsoft look less bad.
Its a sad state we're in.

No its what happens when MS spends half the time dedicated to already released products or those that we've been getting info crammed down our throats for months for.

Had they gone with those items on the speculation list then people would still have been left unsurprised still but at least we would have seen something relatively new.

Ideally they would have surprised us with something else. I'd say the Windows Mobile unveil down the road will be more exciting to be honest...that seems to be their big card for the year (along with Natal and the slightly less exciting Office 2010 release).

As a winmo user wm7 excites me. And i honestly think 6.5 exits only to show the wm fanatics like me and the xda crew all the little things that they have progressively been adding to the os such as: the new keyboard, the strides ie mobile has made since the original 6.5 release, the new features of pocket outlook, and widgets (think webos but with the ie renderer).

If they can make this happen then they may be able to take back what they lost, provided that they can licence the os close to free or provide superior assistance to odm's compared to Google.

Also if Natal is coming during Christmas and the the Playstation wand is still on course for this spring, Sony better not squander this chance at being first to release something, and since they showed that the pseye can do a lot of what the natal does sans the level of accuracy for body detection and it can run at 100fps (qvga) we might have a nice battle and a half way point for porting wii games off that platform

CES is more about the hardware and device makers than what MS does. So they always spend time showing off hardware you can get now or is coming. I don't quite mind that at all really. I think the new slates could be interesting for the right price and the different sizes it seems we'll be getting.

That aside, you could say there's a right time and place for everything. It only makes sense that they'd want to hold off and talk about WM7 next month at the mobile event where it's specific and they can dive deeper into whatever they have in the works.

As for the courior etc, I have no doubt its coming. MSI already has their own little version of it, but it doesn't have a flashy cool new UI that i'm expecting MS to have with it's own. That said, MS is never one to oneup it's own partners. If they had shown the courior now at CES, that'd be the big news for the whole show, everything else going on from other device makers would be like, meh, no one cares, and probably miff them.

pretty boring. Watching the Engadget live updates the most exciting thing was the power failure at the start.

"Xbox and Xbox LIVE also set new records in 2008 with over 39 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world"
Isn't it suppose to be 2009?

helios01 said,
"Xbox and Xbox LIVE also set new records in 2008 with over 39 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world"
Isn't it suppose to be 2009?

At the end of his section he also mentioned how this will be a great lineup in 2020

Why is MS demonstrating products they had zero to do with? They didn't make the laptops or pc's shown.
Obviously they had to burn time to distract people from realizing nothing new was to be announced. Everything shown already has been shown at some previous point in time.

Rohdekill said,
Why is MS demonstrating products they had zero to do with? They didn't make the laptops or pc's shown.
Obviously they had to burn time to distract people from realizing nothing new was to be announced. Everything shown already has been shown at some previous point in time.

Microsoft relies on their partners...

Rohdekill said,
Why is MS demonstrating products they had zero to do with? They didn't make the laptops or pc's shown.
Obviously they had to burn time to distract people from realizing nothing new was to be announced. Everything shown already has been shown at some previous point in time.

Just like a certain company that supposedly is an open-computing solution but is really a closed-computing ecosystem from a certain company in Cupertino, California...oh, wait!

Rohdekill said,
Why is MS demonstrating products they had zero to do with? They didn't make the laptops or pc's shown.
Obviously they had to burn time to distract people from realizing nothing new was to be announced. Everything shown already has been shown at some previous point in time.


Your assumption is incorrect, but seems to be the common mis-conception of Microsoft's role in the computing world.

Yes Microsoft is mainly a software company, but in doing what they do, the define many aspects of the computing industry, for example the 2D GPUs of the 90s were all 'accelerated 2D' based on the Windows GDI.

The bigger thing of note though is how many 'hardware' engineers work at Microsoft and how much they 'work' their the OEM partners like HP. Even the original TabletPC designs were built by MS Hardware engineers, and they were implemented and sold by companies like HP.

I think too often people do under estimate both roles Microsoft plays in the hardware and hardware technology aspect of the computing industry.

Microsoft's platform and API designs create hardware markets, and these 'software' constructs are BASED on hardware (even if only research hardware) in Microsoft labs all over the world.

Microsoft also has been a main contributor of hardware technology, especially many things people take for granted today on all PCs and Macs. Go back to simple things like the Microsoft Mouse all the way up to Xenos, Surface, & Natal.

The GPU in the XBox 360 was the FIRST unified shader 3D GPU and even includes DX11 techologies like tensellation, and yes it was MAINLY designed by Microsoft hardware engineers and given to ATI to help with production.

The same is true of the original XBOX GPU with the first Pixel Shaders, and this technology was developed 'with' and given to NVidia for use in their products. Microsoft Hardware Engineers were behind technology directly in use in NVidia Cards up to the 7xxx Geforce generation, and starting with the Geforce 4ti.

Even the Current ATI and NVidia GPU designs are ALL based on technology that came from Microsoft Research and Microsoft hardware engineers, as they are unified shader designs - especially ATI, which is still working off of the designs of the Xenos XBox 360 GPU design.

And this goes throughout the industry, but these are some of the biggest and most visible hardware projects that people can see how they are linked back to Microsoft Labs and Research.

Microsoft also has X86 and PowerPC CPU engineers that work with AMD, Intel, and IBM. The XBox 360 CPU was based on the PowerPC, but was a modified Microsoft tri-core design. Intel and AMD have made changes and worked directly with Microsoft on processor technologies, Microsoft has had strong roles with both companies for almost 20 years now.

Even if you look at PC designs and form factors and legacy free designs and standards for hardware, Microsoft is a part of virtually every board and often helps to set the standards or push for hardware standards.

So why is Microsoft showing off computers they didn't make, well they were a part of the making of these devices and even at the base level their software is what defines what these devices can do and what features they can have. Let alone all the help on logistics and hardware techology that is offered by Microsoft Labs.

thenetavenger said,


Your assumption is incorrect, but seems to be the common mis-conception of Microsoft's role in the computing world.

Yes Microsoft is mainly a software company, but in doing what they do, the define many aspects of the computing industry, for example the 2D GPUs of the 90s were all 'accelerated 2D' based on the Windows GDI.

The bigger thing of note though is how many 'hardware' engineers work at Microsoft and how much they 'work' their the OEM partners like HP. Even the original TabletPC designs were built by MS Hardware engineers, and they were implemented and sold by companies like HP.

I think too often people do under estimate both roles Microsoft plays in the hardware and hardware technology aspect of the computing industry.

Microsoft's platform and API designs create hardware markets, and these 'software' constructs are BASED on hardware (even if only research hardware) in Microsoft labs all over the world.

Microsoft also has been a main contributor of hardware technology, especially many things people take for granted today on all PCs and Macs. Go back to simple things like the Microsoft Mouse all the way up to Xenos, Surface, & Natal.

The GPU in the XBox 360 was the FIRST unified shader 3D GPU and even includes DX11 techologies like tensellation, and yes it was MAINLY designed by Microsoft hardware engineers and given to ATI to help with production.

The same is true of the original XBOX GPU with the first Pixel Shaders, and this technology was developed 'with' and given to NVidia for use in their products. Microsoft Hardware Engineers were behind technology directly in use in NVidia Cards up to the 7xxx Geforce generation, and starting with the Geforce 4ti.

Even the Current ATI and NVidia GPU designs are ALL based on technology that came from Microsoft Research and Microsoft hardware engineers, as they are unified shader designs - especially ATI, which is still working off of the designs of the Xenos XBox 360 GPU design.

And this goes throughout the industry, but these are some of the biggest and most visible hardware projects that people can see how they are linked back to Microsoft Labs and Research.

Microsoft also has X86 and PowerPC CPU engineers that work with AMD, Intel, and IBM. The XBox 360 CPU was based on the PowerPC, but was a modified Microsoft tri-core design. Intel and AMD have made changes and worked directly with Microsoft on processor technologies, Microsoft has had strong roles with both companies for almost 20 years now.

Even if you look at PC designs and form factors and legacy free designs and standards for hardware, Microsoft is a part of virtually every board and often helps to set the standards or push for hardware standards.

So why is Microsoft showing off computers they didn't make, well they were a part of the making of these devices and even at the base level their software is what defines what these devices can do and what features they can have. Let alone all the help on logistics and hardware techology that is offered by Microsoft Labs.


+1

Great post, I hope people actually read it and get some insight.

Ok, so they partnered in helping make pieces of the technology available. They had several company logos on the screen behind them.

That doesn't mean they should be showing other company's products. Show only that which has has your logo on the cover (and not a sticker somewhere on the product).

Basically, it came down to "we have nothing new yet somehow it will be the best year ever" b.s. speech.

Rohdekill said,
Ok, so they partnered in helping make pieces of the technology available. They had several company logos on the screen behind them.

That doesn't mean they should be showing other company's products. Show only that which has has your logo on the cover (and not a sticker somewhere on the product).

Basically, it came down to "we have nothing new yet somehow it will be the best year ever" b.s. speech.

So Apple should not show anything since most of their stuff comes from Foxconn assembly lines? With Intel CPUS installed? And nVidia and ATi GPUs? They should just show empty cases since that is the only part of the product line they completely design and own? Get over it, hundreds of companies rely on MS to drive their products and vice versa, MS should show whatever they please.

Rohdekill said,
That doesn't mean they should be showing other company's products. Show only that which has has your logo on the cover (and not a sticker somewhere on the product).

You're wrong. If you were a vendor like HP you would *want* Microsoft to be showing off your latest, soon-to-be-released product - especially when you rely on them to actually be able to deliver the product at all. That's what it's all about when you're a vendor that has a partnership with a larger company like Microsoft. It's publicity. HP aren't just going to try to market the device all by themselves, especially when they have someone like Microsoft to put their product in the spotlight at a huge international event.

The fact is, the hardware and software go hand in hand yet someone you don't feel it's a legitimate relationship. It's not that hard to understand...

bob_c_b said,
So Apple should not show anything since most of their stuff comes from Foxconn assembly lines? With Intel CPUS installed? And nVidia and ATi GPUs? They should just show empty cases since that is the only part of the product line they completely design and own? Get over it, hundreds of companies rely on MS to drive their products and vice versa, MS should show whatever they please.

How to spot a fanboy: every criticism against Microsoft gets turned to Apple bashing. Who mentioned or compared anything to Apple? Are you so affraid of competition? It only brings YOU better and cheaper things. Plain fact is it was a boring keynote and not much new was shown, that doesn't mean that Microsoft sucks or they won't bring out anything new this year, it's just not ready to be presented yet. And showing whatever they please? You don't know much about business and marketing, do you?

That was one BORING ass keynote. I love the fact how for the first half he had to show us the stuff you can do in windows 7. For christ sake the average joe does not watch this keynote. The computer enthusiast does, and they already know all that stuff. If that is going to be Microsoft's and hp's best job at a tablet then no matter what apple releases they are going to be raping Microsoft hardcore.

warwagon said,
raping Microsoft hardcore.

Nice. :D

But yes, mostly uninspiring speech from what I've seen of it. I bet Jobs is chomping at the bit now.

It just shows that the Courier is coming, though with it's own special UI from MS i'm sure. The keynote did drop hints about creating new natural UI's etc.