2008 Bill Gates CES Keynote
Author: Josh Maronde
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 01-06-2008
Discuss: View Comments
Silverlight, Gaming, Zune Social

The first major announcement made during the keynote was that NBC has chosen Microsoft as their technology provider for the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. NBC will be using Microsoft's Silverlight media to let people have new media experiences. The official date for the Olympic games is August 8th, 2008 and nbcolympics.com will be powered by the Silverlight runtime technology.

Robert Bach, the President of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division temporarily took the reigns of the keynote to discuss "connected entertainment". He announced that over 17.7 million Xbox 360 consoles have been shipped and Microsoft is on track to have their biggest year ever in the US gaming marketplace. The Xbox Live service now has over 10 million subscribers and this is six months sooner than was anticipated.

ABC and Disney TV shows, as well as MGM films, will be coming to the Xbox Live Marketplace. Bach announced that the Windows Media Center Extender will be integrated into upcoming HP and Samsung TVs, with HP's model being first to the market. Soon our brethren across the pond will be able to purchase an Xbox 360 and have it function as a set top box that will work with the British Telecom network. Microsoft's new Mediaroom software will enable users to produce their own television shows like NASCAR on the TNT network where you control what camera angles you want to see.

Afterwards, control of the keynote was handed over to Molly O'Donnell, a Microsoft spokeswoman. She talked about Zune Social and gave a demo. Zune Social is similar to other social networking sites but focuses on what music you and your friends listen to. Using the logging abilities of the Zune, a user's Zune Social page will list your top songs and artists based on how many times the song and artist is played. These features are anticipated to help you discover new songs and artists that you otherwise might not ever listen to.

After this brief demo of Zune Social, a Lincoln MKX equipped with Microsoft's Sync technology was pushed on to the stage and a live demo of what you have already seen in the Sync commercials was performed. Microsoft expects a million cars equipped with Sync technology to be sold this year. The announcement that an upgrade to Sync called 911 Sync will enable the software to call 911 for you unless told not to in the event of an accident. I am sure that OnStar is not too happy about Microsoft's entrance into their domain.

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