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January 4, 2006

Bill Gates Keynote at CES

Posted by David Hunter at 11:35 PM ET.

The Bill Gates (et al.) keynote is still going on as I write this, but the press releases are out. The overview in Microsoft Showcases Windows Innovations to Help Customers Navigate Through the Digital “World of More” is frankly rather clearer than the rushed presentation (narrative version here). Skipping to the new news:

DIRECTV. Microsoft and DIRECTV Inc. will announce a multiyear agreement that will enable the flow of DIRECTV digital content between Windows-based PCs, DIRECTV’s digital set-top boxes, PlaysForSure™ devices and the Xbox 360 system. Consumers will also be able to use a Media Center PC to enjoy high-definition DIRECTV content.

Sky Networks. Microsoft and British Sky Broadcasting (Sky), the leading pay-TV provider in the U.K. and Ireland, today announced an agreement to create a Media Center PC version of Sky’s forthcoming broadband content service, Sky by broadband. The core service will allow millions of Sky TV customers to access video content via the PC, with hundreds of movies to download and hundreds of sports clips to stream.

URGE music service. MTV Networks’ forthcoming digital music service, URGE, will be deeply integrated into Windows Media Player 11 and offer more than 2 million songs from the major labels and thousands of independents, as well as exclusive MTV Networks programming and original content. URGE will also be available through Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP.

URGE has it’s own press release, but the bottom line is that it offers a subscription service as well as individual item purchases.

For Media Center PC’s there are a variety of content deals with Comedy Central’s MotherLoad, mtvU, Showtime Interactive, Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s GameTap, and VH1 VSPOT. There are also some new Windows Live services for Media Center:

Live.com TV gadgets. Live.com provides the ideal location for services that make it easier to find and manage TV-related experiences across multiple devices. Customers can easily see TV programs scheduled for recording along with best bets. These services provide a window into one’s Media Center PC from almost anywhere in the world.

Live.com TV recommendations. Live.com enables customers to easily rate shows they’ve watched on their TV via their Media Center PC. As users rate more shows, they get better, more personalized TV recommendations, which they can share with their community.

Finally, there were the gadgets:

Toshiba America Inc., Tatung Co. and LG Electronics have signed up to venture into the difficult territory of Portable Media Centers albeit with new media services like Starz.

Philips and Uniden announced combo phones for both regular phone networks and VoIP through Windows Live Messenger. Gates also demonstrated the Palm Treo 700w running Windows Mobile.

Update: Peter Moore came on at the end with a rapid fire list of Xbox 360 facts and figures, but the big one is that they expect to ship up to 5.5 million units by June and have added a 3rd manufacturer to increase supply.



Filed under Bill Gates, CES06, Conferences, Coopetition, DIRECTV, Digital Media, Executives, LG, MTV, Media Connect, Media Player, OS - Client, Palm, Philips, PlaysForSure, Portable Media Center, Sky, Starz, Tatung, Technologies, Toshiba, VoIP, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Mobile, XP Media Center, Xbox

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3 Responses to “Bill Gates Keynote at CES”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Bill Gates CES06 keynote observations Says:

    [...] Last night’s CES keynote by Bill Gates and helpers is drawing a variety of reactions from mostly favorable (Joe Wilcox at Jupiter Research) to mostly unfavorable like that of Peter Kafka at Forbes: A note to the poor guy who kept pestering me for my press pass to see Bill Gates speak Wednesday evening: Sorry. I have no idea why you were desperate to see the Man of the Year’s presentation, but if it makes you feel better, you didn’t miss much. [...]

  2. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft dropping Xbox 360 90 day target Says:

    [...] If you were wondering why Microsoft Xbox exec Peter Moore, in his brief appearance in Bill Gates’ CES keynote, introduced a new ship target of 4.5-5.5 million units by June, it’s because Microsoft isn’t going to make the original target of 3 million units in 90 days: According to a report published in this morning’s Financial Times newspaper, Microsoft has abandoned its highly ambitious sales target of 3 million Xbox 360s delivered into the hands of consumers at the end of the console’s initial 90-day introduction period. Instead, the company will focus on the goal announced at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show of 4 million to 5.5 million units sold by the close at the company’s fiscal year at the end of June. [...]

  3. New Windows Media Player due in June -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft seems to be playing the details of the XP version close to the vest, but there is some speculation about features in the full article. We’ve previously mentioned the Urge deal, which despite its unpromising announcement, may well be a winner. Filed under OS – Client, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Coopetition, Technologies, Media Player, MTV, Microsoft Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

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