Amid heavy security, a slumping economy and a declining PC market, Bill Gates tried to make the case to the Comdex masses that technology's best days are yet to come.
Speaking at the opening of Comdex Fall 2001, Gates provided a concrete example with the Tablet PC, which uses a touch screen and a forthcoming version of Windows XP. The device, unveiled as a concept last year, was shown in prototype form Sunday with examples from Compaq Computer, NEC, Toshiba, Intel and others.
One of the devices resembled an Etch A Sketch, while another looked more like a notebook PC with a screen that could be rotated to sit on top of the keyboard. One was small enough to be considered a handheld.
Microsoft also announced the name of the software that powers the Tablet PC: Microsoft Windows XP Tablet Edition. Gates said the company hopes the devices will be commercially available in 2002. "Next year I hope a lot of people in the audience will be taking their notes on a Tablet PC," Gates said.
And just to show that Bill has a lighter side, he shows a video which spoofed Entertainment Tonight (including a duel with Gates as a fictional wizard Harry Potter and Steve Ballmer as Luke Skywalker), as well as scenes from a fictitious Xbox game, "Matrix: The golden years." However, the piece de resistance was Microsoft's own remake of the "Monkey Boy" video in which Ballmer dances wildly to cheer on developers. (If anyone has a link to these proceedings, let us know :) ).
On a side note, Gates also announced that to date, Microsoft have sold 7 million licenses in the first two weeks with retail sales of the software more than two times those for any previous version.
News source: CNet News