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Microsoft's final keynote talks next-gen computing, smartphones

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Windows Phone 7? 4G? LTE? 3D TV?

Davison did warn the audience not to look if they didn't want to see the score, but of course the audience was transfixed, and even cheered, but it wasn't clear if they were cheering because of the score (Alabama was in the process of trouncing LSU, 21 to 0), or because of the demo itself.

The new voice control capabilities came with a heads up that MS has partnered with content providers such as Comcast (Infinity), as well as New Corp, including its Fox channels and the Wall St. Journal.

Interactive TV
The demonstration of interactive TV was the coup de grace for the keynote, and foretells a new TV experience that may well overshadow 3D TV. The demo required a partnership with Sesame Street TV and used the Kinect. In the demo, perennial favorite 'Grover' was teaching the audience to count to four (the number of the day).

However, instead of counting four potatoes already in a box, he asked the viewer to throw four potatoes into the box. That changes everything. Aynsley, a young girl brought on to do the demo, stood up and swung like she was throwing a potato and sure enough, it appeared on the screen and landed in the box.

To prove the interactivity, the demonstrators sat down again, and despite Grover's entreaties, refused to throw a potato. Instead, Cookie Monster threw a rock, which landed in the box and sent Grover to the ground. Next time, Aynsley stood up, made the throwing motion, and the potato once again appeared on the screen and landed on target.

Sesame St. has changed forever, and so has TV viewing in general.

So what's next for Microsoft?

Fittingly, Ballmer answered the question with "Metro! Metro! Metro!" and "Windows! Windows! Windows!"

Those are the last words we'll hear from Microsoft as CES keynoter. Or are they?

- Patrick Mannion
??EE Times

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