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Monday January 7, 2008 12:39 am

Liveblogging the 2008 CES Bill Gates keynote


Gear Live’s live coverage of the 2008 CES keynote! Refresh this page to keep track of the announcements!

6:39 The lights are up, and Bill has walked on stage!

6:40 Bill is talking about the last decade. Photos and music have made a huge transformation from analog to digital. “Information anywhere” seems to be a major theme.

6:42 Lots of partners have contributed to this digital decade - While this is Bill’s last CES keynote he thinks technology is just getting rolling

6:44 Video spoof of Bill Gates last day at Microsoft - Bill driving a Chevy Malibu to work and cleaning out his desk. Very funny stuff!

Check out the rest of the coverage after the jump


More on the “Bill Gates last day” video: Spoofs about him working out, learning to meditate, trying to figure out what to do with his life other than “saving the children”. Bill rocking out with a Rock Band controller with Bono - he looks to be trying to figure out how to salvage the situation. Spoof includes Bill Gates in the Matrix, and Oceans 13 - lots of big stars making cameos. Now poking fun at politics - Bill is cold calling various politicians asking about being their running mate. Video closes with Bill turning off the lights in his office with a clapper, and driving off with his stuff on the roof of his car.

6:50 Video is over - Bill is moving on to his theme for the evening “Connected Experiences”

6:53 “We haven’t tackled all of the challenges yet” - is talking about how TV is about to undergo the same changes that music and photography have in the last 10 years

6:55 Bridging the services we currently experience on the desktop with computers to mobile devices and providing “information anywhere” is the key to revolutionizing day to day life through technology. Software and services together will enable this bridging.

7:00 2007 was an incredible year for PC’s. Desktop computers have seen double digit growth again - Vista is “doing well” and partners are releasing a lot of innovative products based on the Windows platform.

7:02 “Our mobile devices will become intelligent guides that help us in our daily lives”

7:03 Mika Krammer - Director at Microsoft - has taken the stage. She’s talking about how Windows Live offers many of the services that were recently only available in thick client applications. Demoing the Windows Live photo gallery, calendar, Live Spaces and other technologies. With Windows Photo gallery she just made a panoramic and posted it to her live space. Cracked a joke that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - unless you upload it to your Windows Live Space”

7:06 Bill is on again. He’s using a Surface table to build a custom snowboard design and decorate it with various colors, decals, and other customizations. The display table is slightly laggy but it’s a very impressive presentation.

7:08 Talking about Silverlight. It’s “the runtime for the rich web” - Microsoft is announcing that MSN, NBC, and the Olympics are partnering to produce a Silverlight based rich media portal.

7:10 Video montage of the Olympics is playing. Talking about 3,600 hours of content that will be made freely available online.

7:12 Video is done. Bill is bringing out Robbie Bach - Microsoft’s President of mobile devices and entertainment. He’s talking about digital entertainment, music, video, and gaming. “With the power of Vista Windows gaming is growing faster than ever before”

7:13 More than 17.7 million Xbox 360’s sold to date - more than 10 million of them are Xbox Live subscribers!

7:16 Mediaroom - the Microsoft IPTV solution. All Xbox 360’s can theoretically receive content from Mediaroom. British Telecom is a premiere partner and will be delivering content to their subscribers via Mediaroom.

7:18 The Zune brand is doing well. Robbie has brought on someone from the Zune team to talk about some of the social networking features in “The Social”. Showing off ability to share music with friends, and see what friends are listening too. People powered music discovery - finding new music recommendations from a trusted source: your friends.

7:22 The full demo - finding out what your friends are listening too, previewing to see if you like it, and downloading it using a Zune pass subscription - very easy to use and seamless.

7:23 Talking about Sync, the Microsoft and Ford partnership for enabling technology and media integration in your car. Keeping your hands on the wheel while still keeping in touch with the world and controlling the media experience in the car looks easier than ever before. Starting a track playing on the stereo by telling the stereo what artist and song you want to hear. Able to call a contact by saying their name - the number is pulled up from a bluetooth Windows Mobile phone automatically.

7:26 991 Assist - if you are in an accident and the airbag deploys the car will automatically call 911 for you. The car notifies you and gives you the option to cancel, but if you do not actively stop it the call is placed automatically to ensure help is on it’s way.

7:27 Windows Mobile is the leading mobile platform. Outsold Blackberries and iPhones last year. Mobile Search is a major area of growth for Microsoft currently. Showing off the Tellme service for voice powered 411. Asked the phone verbally for “Movies in Las Vegas” and a series of showtimes are pulled up - bought tickets, again all with voice. With a few button presses the movie tickets can be shared and friends invited to the movie.

7:30 Mobile technology is opening up new entertainment markets. New revenue streams and ways of spending free moments are exploding. Mobile advertising is going to be a big focus for Microsoft and the industry as a whole in the coming year - enabling companies to reach consumers in useful and contextual ways is a win for everyone.

7:32 Bill is back on stage - he’s going to show off the not so near-future of technology. Bill has` a mysterious black box in his hand.

7:33 The box is a computer vision demo. By taking a picture of Robbie the box is able to identify him (and remind Bill to get the $20 that Robbie owes him before he leaves Microsoft). Talks about taking a photo of a landmark or building to get information about that building, driving decorations, restaurant menus, etc. Very cool technology for location-based services.

Talking about how this visual identification software will be included in the mobile phones of tomorrow. An “always recording” phone can keep track of your life, organize information for you as it rushes on by.

7:34 Pulling up old footage from prior CES keynotes (including the Rock) that was all automatically organized and categorized. Also showing footage from earlier in the keynote, and how the system was able to capture and categorize it automatically. Automated information tagging will be key in future technology.

7:36 Robbie Bach and Bill Gates are about to be playing Guitar Hero on stage with a reigning Guitar Hero champion Kelly. Kelly not only can play like a rockstar but she has presentation down like a pro - just got a 100 note streak without breaking a sweat.

7:38 Bill Gates has brought Slash on stage to play guitar and show how a ‘real pro’ does things. He’s playing the same song on a real guitar that Kelly just aced with the controller.

7:40 All done with the keynote - Slash is playing bill off the stage.

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