updated 10:45 pm EST, Wed January 5, 2011
Microsoft opens CES 2011
Microsoft is holding its traditional CES opening keynote on Wednesday night with Steve Ballmer at the helm. The company is expected to talk about Windows 7 tablets like the Samsung Slider PC and a Dell model, as well as to detail Windows Phone 7 upgrades and Xbox 360 news. Check in after the break for details as they happen.
10:45PM: Ballmer wraps up. Says WP7 is "the best" new phone out there. Windows 7 PCs can be found in so many wonderful form factors. Windows on ARM means it can be on devices "without compromise" [attempted dig at mobile tablet makers].
10:39PM: Recapping why Microsoft announced it was going ARM today: want the flexibility across the full range of devices. The features of a computer with the low power of a phone. Redoing the Windows 8 preview demo from earlier today. Current UI, future version of Windows. Shows it on an Atom demo, then on a Snapdragon, TI and NVIDIA. Word already recompiled to run on ARM; an Epson printer works with recompiled drivers. Fast HD video and HTML5 acceleration in Internet Explorer.
10:34PM: New Surface table: uses PixelSense to accurately recognize elements by sight. Dual-core processor, AMD GPU. Much faster and more responsive. Royal Bank of Canada is one of the main customers. Take a flyer and show it to the screen. It recognizes flyers and cues things up.
10:27PM: Mike Angiulo up from the Windows team. Showing new Windows 7 PCs. HP dv6/dv7 with Intel's Sandy Bridge up. Noting the integrated graphics get 20X more performance, even with 6.5 hours of battery life. HP Pavilion dm1 next: AMD Fusion gives it high performance in a small design with great battery life. HTML5 at near 40 seconds for under $500.
Acer Iconia (already seen before) shown up with dual 14-inch screens. Samsung's Slider PC and ASUS' new tablet. Notes the ASUS tablet uses a Core i5 and notes that a Tablet PC can tell the difference between a pen and fingers. Worked with ASUS to get very wide viewing angles; there's no display gap.
10:24PM: Now on to the Windows PC. Recapping known stats: 20% of connected computers are Windows 7, 7 licenses of the OS are bought every day. 500 million Windows Live users.
10:21PM: Quick example of copy-paste text. Ballmer back up: when he gets to show people a WP7 phone, they say how snappy it is and personal it feels. How beautiful it looks.
10:19PM: Voice search example: Liz looks for In-N-Out Burger. Kicks up Bing Maps and reviews. Bing is fuller on the phone. Games, people hubs.
10:15PM: Talking about how the dedicated camera button lets you take a photo without having to jump into the OS. Glance-and-go on the lock screen and home screen.
10:13PM: More than half of users download a new app every day. 9 out of 10 AT&T WP7 customers would recommend it to others. [Note: no numbers given.] Going to "invest in it aggressively."
Going to push out multiple updates over the next few months. Copy-and-paste and performance improvements for launching or switching apps. CDMA update in the first half of 2011. Liz Sloan from the Windows Phone team coming up to show the OS.
10:10PM: Recapping WP7's design: rethinking how the phone presents information. Contacts that prioritize those you favor the most. Integrating Xbox, Zune, Facebook and more. Great reaction to the product so far.
10:08PM: Fable coming to WP7 with Xbox Live integration for gold and achievements. Games coming or on Windows Phone 7: Pac-Man, Fruit Ninja, Assassin's Creed, Monopoly, Pocket God.
10:04PM: Avatar Kinect: it can now track your facial expressions, even your eyebrows. Sit in a virtual conversation environment talking with other friends with complete body and facial positioning. Many different environments, coming for free this spring. Over 50 million Xbox 360s worldwide. Sold over 8 million Kinects in the first 60 days.
9:59PM: Recapping how Kinect controls the Zune Video Marketplace: voice commands, gestures, resuming videos. Music: same concept, letting you skip tracks, watch videos when they appear.
Netflix now getting Kinect voice support. Hulu Plus is coming to Xbox 360 with Kinect as well later in the spring. Sports: recapping ESPN3, noting that College Bowl games are coming live with shared viewing.
9:52PM: 2010 biggest year in Xbox ever thanks to moving to online services (Netflix, etc.) and Kinect. Promo video rolls. Millions of people are enjoying digital video and gaming right now.
9:49PM: Ballmer on stage: Talking about WP7, IE9, Kinect introductions. Been a year like no other. Over 1 billion customers around the world thanked for their support.
Showing you a bit of what's coming next through the TV, the Windows Phone and the Windows PC.
9:44PM: Talking about how enthusiasts can now join the CEA, not just companies. Bio of Steve Ballmer.
9:41PM: CEA president Gary Shapiro up, promising the best year ever. Innovation and a much better economy.
9:38PM: The CEA is starting its promo video for the expo itself; Ballmer should show soon.
9:30PM: Keynote is about to start. Microsoft has claimed that the press should turn off wireless, but we'll see how long we can keep liveblogging the event.