Microsoft Press ConferenceCES Microsoft Steve Ballmer Keynote.

Last night was the premier of the Steve Ballmer Keynote, for those of you do not know who he is, he is the CEO of the Microsoft Corporation. He talked about several new features to their existing product line. Such as the following:

Hand gestures and speech recognition for XBOX Lives Services such as:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu Plus
  • Zune
  • ESPN (A new service)

Microsoft has also partnered with ESPN to bring it to the Xbox 360 console. With ESPN for Xbox 360 you can:

  • Chat with friends
  • Make predictions
  • Trash talk each other

A Relatively new feature, set to debut soon is Avatar Kinect. With Avatar Kinect, you can meet up with friends in a virtual environment and have your avatar mimic you facial expressions such as your smile, laughter, and raising of your eye brows.

NOTE: In a financial prospective, 8 million Kinect sensors have sold in 60 Days.

This brings me into my next category, the Windows Phone 7. With Windows Phone 7, you can link your Xbox Live account to the phone and it will show you your highest scores and messages from friends among other things. It also offers connectivity to Xbox games (e.g. Fable 3).

Speaking of Fable, a related new game for Windows Phone 7 is being released, Fable Gold Golf. Any coins you get on Fable Gold Golf, automatically goes to your character on Fable 3. How awesome is that? Over 5,500+ apps and games are available for Windows Phone 7 and 20k developers registered. As progress always demands, more are definitely on the way.

NOTE: Later this year, Windows Phone 7 is to hit Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

NOTE: In the keynote, they demonstrated the ability to Copy and Paste (which isn’t available right now for existing users), that ability should be readily available for existing users within the next software update.

ARM and SoC

Steve Ballmer also demonstrated the System-on-Chip systems using the next version of Windows 8 with ARM processors. Using the same GUI on Windows 7. System-on-Chip is basically the entire motherboard along with the RAM on a little circuit board.

NOTE: ARM processors (Advanced RISC Machine) were used by Qualcomm Snapdragon and Texas Instruments.

Mike Angiulo, Vice President, came out to demonstrate the power of the new Intel “Sandybridge” CPU’s which use way less power but giving you more power. AMD also came out with a new processor called “Fusion”, which they call a APU.

Other items of note:

  • Acer came out with a new Dual screen PC. It consists of two 14” touch screens, which is pretty cool.
  • Samsung introduced a new Sliding PC that has no fan.
  • ASUS introduced a new tablet PC that has a Super bright LCD. The cool thing about this tablet is, the screen is made of Gorilla glass.

Microsoft is also introducing a new upgraded Surface called “Surface 2”. The awesome thing about this is, unlike the original surface, which used cameras facing up to see what was going on. In Surface 2, every pixel is a camera. The Surface is 4” thin and made by Samsung. The Surface 2 can also be used as a kiosk ( e.g The Royal Bank of Canada).

This was a long overview of the Microsoft Press Event, but as you can see there was a lot to cover.