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Thoughts on the Microsoft keynote that started off CES

Dreck.. pure, dreck!

Well I know that's a bit harsh, but usually at events like this, tech companies bring the thunder and really get the year off started right. Microsoft, as much as I like the company, just didn't do it for me this year. Ok, I'll concede.. dreck isn't the right word maybe... "Grrr" is more like it.

Mediaroom? Really! They would only be bringing up Mediaroom if later down the road something gigantic is going to happen with that. Maybe they just wanted to plant the bug in our ear.

For those of you who wanted Zune news (all 4 of you, ha), nothing was mentioned in the keynote specifically, however when I was going through the Zune Fact Sheet I found a couple of tidbits worth mentioning. First, the Zune HD will get the abililty to create Smart DJ playlists directly on the device. If you aren't familiar with Smart DJ it's a feature on the software that allows you to take a favorite song, artist or album and create a dynamic playlist around it. Currently, you can only do this on the software and sync it to the device, but sometime Spring, according to this document, you'll be able to create them on the device as well.

Secondly, they WILL bring Facebook to Zune HD. So you all can exhale now...

I was a bit excited by Tablet PCs even though it wasn't something I was excited by before. Maybe it's because my current notebook computer is in critical condition and I'm looking to get something new this year anyway. A really solid Tablet PC would be good for me while I attend events like MVP Summit, CES, E3 and the like. So with a renewed focus on those devices, I'm quite anxious to test one out and see how much of a fit for my journalistic lifestyle it would be.

Oh and like most scripted events nowadays (Hollywood I include you too) I could see things happening in that keynote from a mile away. They seriously need to stop with the 'unplanned' planned event. This whole idea of 'Really, you want me to help you? Hmm.. ok" needs to go.We know you had to go through several rehearsals of this. We know that you had to make sure all of the timing was correct. Just present things that way. You'll look less insane when you pause and try to remember what the next line is.

I'm glad that they were able to boast about the numbers revolving around Windows 7 and XBOX 360. I'm a user of both products and I can tell you that they are very solid. I'm quite impressed that after 5 years of existence (and several red rings) Microsoft is extending the lifespan of the XBOX 360 through the software updates. I think they really struck a chord with the inclusion of Netflix. It's also nice that they used the platform to push out the Zune brand internationally, even if it was for movies and not for music. The little avatar arcade thing was an interesting concept, but how many times can we travel in the past for stuff?

Did anyone else notice that Robbie Bach said "2020" in his address? Man, that's forward thinking for you!

Overall, I expect more sizzle on the steak and I got more fizzle than sizzle. I'm hoping that in the next few months with things like the World Mobile Congress, MIX 2010 and E3 we will find out much more about what Microsoft has in store for its professional and casual customers.

I'm curious to know what you guys thought of the keynote...


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