Neowin's Microsoft CES 2009 predictions

Next week sees the start of MacWorld 2009 and CES 2009. A week in which Apple and Microsoft always try to out do each other.

In the past we've seen the iPhone announced alongside Microsoft releasing Windows Vista. What's in store this year from Microsoft?

Steve Ballmer will begin his keynote on Wednesday 7th before the crowds fill the floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8th. The main focus of the keynote will be on Windows 7 and Xbox announcements. Ballmer will announce the beta of Windows 7 making it available to download for the public. Robbie Bach from Microsoft Entertainment & Devices is scheduled for some on stage time too. We expect him to talk about the upcoming Halo 3 Recon and Halo Wars, there should be some kind of game footage of these in action too. It's possible that there might be some talk of the future of Xbox and the next generation Xbox but this could be too early in Microsoft's schedule for now.

Ballmer is also expected to reveal that Flash on Windows Mobile is ready, Adobe demonstrated this functionality back in November 2008.

A final focus from Microsoft will be on home networking to make multiple PCs work together. Advancements in Windows 7 with netgroups will help with this vision but we could be in for some further announcements arround this area too.

Neowin will be live from CES next week, we have a CES 2009 section where you can follow all the latest news. If you are interested in watching Ballmer's keynote live then there are several webstreams varying from 100K, 300K and 750K. The keynote will begin on Wednesday January 7 at 6.30pm PST (other timezones)

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creamhackered said,
They could hint at Win Mob 7 with the Flash announcements but 6.5 is coming 1st and they still haven't really shown that off.

I Forgot about 6.5.

Well, Windows Mobile 6.1 is a great improvement over 6.0 with the sliding interface, an improved mail client and pocket internet explorer among other things.

We expect him to talk about the upcoming Halo 3 and Halo Wars,

Halo 3 ????

already released .

unless you mean for the PC

My understanding was that its the Halo 3 story but from the prospective of a regular marine, not just a continuation.

I expect a surprise from MS, mainly making WinMo 6.5 available almost immediately and announcing WinMo7 release for April or May, unless 6.5 is really great (6.1 was much better than 6.0) MS needs 7 to compete.

ZunePhone? MS will not dare to even suggest that without WinMo7 coming earlier.

cJr. said,
Can we expect much new on Windows 7? Or can we not? Seeing as though it is now feature complete... :/

Officially we haven't be told about all these new features we only seen them through leaked builds so Ballmer will officially tell us what's in 7.

Perhaps we see some new stuff in the User Experience, new folder icons, some fine tuning in the graphic area.. sinofsky said @ pdc: "the last thing that will be done is the fine tuning of the GUI".
I think there will be nothing BIG, but some finalizing of the surface would be great! i think they will use a newer internal version of win7 @ ces.. so let's wait..

I hope there's news about Windows Mobile 7. Windows Mobile 6.1 is fine, but any average user wouldn't like it too well.

I hope WinMo 7 is up-to-date to be on par, if not better than Android and the iPhone OS. I hope it lives to my expectations. If Windows Mobile 7 is just a few awesome new features, but not an overall rework of what a mobile OS should work like, then I'd be disappointed.

I also hope to see some news about the next Xbox. And maybe Zune 3.

Quikboy said,
if not better than Android and the iPhone OS. I hope it lives to my expectations. If Windows Mobile 7 is just a few awesome new features, but not an overall rework of what a mobile OS should work like, then I'd be disappointed.

Don't hold your breath.

the next WinMo version that will allegedly bring the platform to the iPhone's level is scheduled for release second half 2009. If it's late for whatever reason, you're looking at early 2010. And WinMo 8, which is supposed to be better than anything out there now (keep in mind, WinMo's competition has an eternity to improve), has no release schedule yet.

Windows Mobile 7, Codenamed "Photon"will be a major upgrade planned for release in the second half of 2009. Leaked information suggests a revamped UI, multi-touch and motion-related features. Features include redesigned interface, new Office Mobile version, next Internet Explorer Mobile, accelerometer functionality with interface (gestures), new media player version, etc. MS also plans on bringing some form of Zune functionality or software to this version. HTC and others will no doubt snap this up. But again, characteristically Zune-like, MS will be late to the game. Second half of '09 just to catch up to what's already out there, and in light of new OS updates/releases by the competition, means that MS will have some ground to make up. Given the eagerness of the competition in this area, it won't be easy.

The real good stuff from MS in this area will come with WinMo 8, based on Midori . This is the version that will be entirely new - done from scratch, implementing a completely redesigned user interface, "revolutionary" features like global search, and new concepts such as automation and connections within the phone, ideas borrowed from other smartphone operating systems. This means that you'll be able to go from viewing a person's address info in his contact card to seeing where he lives in map view in one click. There will be much more of this intuitive flow, and far less digging through menus. Windows Mobile 8 will add support for gestures on auxiliary screens. Which is all very good. But again, quite late. By the time this sees the light of day, who knows what the competition will have already unleashed.

I say skip WinMo 7 entirely and head right into second half 2009 with a WinMo 8 release or with a WinMo 7 release with all of 8's alleged features.

So right now, unless MS changes their plans (or unless they've changed them already), you're looking at getting a real next-gen mobile OS around, say, mid 2010, perhaps early 2011.

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