As many viewers noted at the time, Bill Gates' presentation at this years Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was not without the odd glitch. Microsoft employee, Sean Alexander, works on the Media Center Team, and has written up on his blog exactly what went wrong.
"Wednesday night, Bill Gates hosted the 2005 CES Opening Keynote along with his surprise guest, Late Night's Conan O'Brien. Overall I think things went well, but as can happen with live events with so many variables, there were a couple of technical issues noted by sites like Engadget. The key thing for me that I could have done a better job on-stage pointing out is that despite a small glitch with a remote control (IR) receiver, a single Media Center ran all the Media Center demos and we kept rolling despite the hiccup.
According to the postmortem, it appears a 2nd IR receiver run over to Bill's seat failed, so the Media Center never got the signal. It could have been all the IR interference in the venue- cameras and plasma displays and lights, or the powered USB booster - a piece of equipment that gets a USB signal over a long-stretch. The production team also handled a small power outage exceptionally well in the minutes leading up which might have contributed. These things happen and the team pulled it out despite some obstacles out of their control."
Sean's written up a honest account of exactly what happened; it's nice to know that the team made a genuine effort to run "honest" demonstrations. Obviously however, they did face the risk of problems arising during the show, yet to be quite fair to the team many of the other presentations ran without glitch. Read more about his experience on his blog.