Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

The Final CES Keynote From Bill Gates 182

Posted by Zonk
from the won't-be-the-same-without-him dept.
Sunday evening saw the final CES keynote delivered by Bill Gates in his current role with the Microsoft corporation. Speculation about big announcements generally seemed to be for naught, as his last address at the show focused more on broad concepts than blockbuster news. "Gates outlined three major themes for the second digital decade-high definition displays with 3D experiences and high quality video and audio, connected services and the power of natural interfaces. Gates had a vision early of those themes, but his quest to make the Tablet PC, Media Center PCs and natural interfaces, such as speech and touch, more mainstream has not been realized." A full description of the talk, including his Guitar Hero finale with Slash, is available in Engadget's liveblog of the event.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Final CES Keynote From Bill Gates

Comments Filter:
  • Silverlight? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:16AM (#21941158)
    What the fuck is Silverlight and why do I have to download yet another plugin to see the CES page? Hasn't Microsoft ever heard of Flash?
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:20AM (#21941184) Journal
    If you believe this put your money where your mouth is and short MSFT.
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:27AM (#21941254) Homepage Journal

    We've "read it on Slashdot" every year for the past 10. Just like "Linux on the desktop THIS year," it isn't happening any time soon.
    Yeah, but you've never heard it before from an individual who predicted Microsoft's dominance before it ever happened. I've been watching the industry for over 20 years now.

  • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:33AM (#21941282)
    No kidding... It is actually getting a bit tedious...

    Linux on the server? Yeah I can see that...
    Linux on the desktop? Nope not a chance... That moment passed.

    Think about it... Vista took how long? And Vista is selling how much? And still people are saying "this is the year of Linux on the desktop." BUT... What has been gaining traction? OSX...

    This says one thing. I want a desktop that works and lets me get my work done and I don't care if it costs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:34AM (#21941292)
    "The Tablet takes cutting-edge PC technology and makes it available wherever you want it, which is why I'm already using a Tablet as my everyday computer. It's a PC that is virtually without limits -- and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America." - Gates at COMDEX 2001

    And unlike the 640K story, there's an actual source [microsoft.com] for this quote.
  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AndGodSed (968378) on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:34AM (#21941294) Homepage Journal
    Yep. It's their business model.

    Create your own, force it on your customers. Of course they would prefer that their tech become commonplace, besides, flash is mainstream on Linux too, so if they can find a way to lock Linux out by making an alternative they delay Linux growth in market share.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:35AM (#21941302) Journal

    Gates knows he can't win. Vista is a huge flop and could spell the end of Microsoft's dominance.
    You're right, it could. Hell anything could happen with the software market like it is these days. Truth is that Vista's first year adoption rate are pretty much better than XP's [zdnet.com]. So why didn't he step down when XP was coming out?

    I hate Microsoft too but it's the natural succession of leadership, Gates is past his prime. His company is not (has it ever had 'a prime'?). I don't think he's stepping down from lack of success, I think he's stepping down because maybe he realized what horrid things a leader with that much power (inadvertently) has to do.

    And that's fine with me because Ballmer is one easy man to hate. Just redirect everything to him. Gates is rich but that doesn't make him any more despicable than Rockefeller, Hughes or Warren Buffett. At least he's trying to help other countries in the world. I think Gates has generally had good intentions with bad consequences for many members of the tech community. Whether it's for family, boredom or health reasons, he's certainly not stepping down because Microsoft is losing this game.
  • by Nullav (1053766) <moc@l[ ]g.valluN ['iam' in gap]> on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:49AM (#21941386)

    Netcraft confirms it!
    But seriously, MS has too much money jammed up its collective ass and too many branches for the loss of a monopoly in the OS market to kill it outright. They still make wonderful peripherals, the RedRing 360, and their research division must bring in plenty, thanks to patent licensing. Oh, and don't forget that many are just snapping up XP if they don't like Vista; it's still another dollar for MS.
    Who knows, maybe MS would take another look at Windows if sales started plummeting.
  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:03AM (#21941490)

    Silverlight is Microsoft's answer to Flash, more or less. It's supposed to make Web applications more GUI-like and introduce fancy things like 3D graphics and advanced user interfaces to Web applications.

    Translation: More proprietary shit you do not need and do not want.



  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tgd (2822) on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:09AM (#21941540)
    Worth also mentioning that its not only open and being implemented as part of Mono, its being directly supported by MS and the Silverlight team.
  • Give Bill a break (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GuyfromTrinidad (1074909) on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:26AM (#21941676)
    I think we need to cut Bill some slack as he rides off into the sunset. No one can dispute the impact that Microsoft and Gates has had on the world of computers and technology in general. I get it, for many of you "Microsoft is Evil" but let us use this opportunity to acknowledge what Bill has done for Tech, especially now that he is going to be focusing more on his humanitarian work. So from me, Thanks Bill and good luck.
  • Changes nothing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:28AM (#21941696)
    Nobody in their right mind is falling for the mono trap. Microsoft tech is "a cancer that seeks to attach itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches".

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:30AM (#21941720)
    who missed the emergence of the Internet for consumers. He had to go back and add the Internet to his The Road Ahead book after the fact. He had to go back and add Internet support to his operating system after the fact.

    This is the visionary who missed the digital media revolution, requiring burst.com and Apple to show him how to do it. In the past ten years of the digital media revolution, which stock price appreciated more, Microsoft's or Apple's?

    Is Gates a visionary, or a monopolist? Gates' image and PR people want him to be viewed as the former. History will record him as the latter.

  • by jejones (115979) on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:40AM (#21941820) Journal
    >...let us use this opportunity to acknowledge what Bill has done for Tech, especially now that he is going to be focusing more on his humanitarian work.

    From the Wikipedia article on Al Capone:

    "Capone often tried to whitewash his image and be seen as a community leader. For example, he started a program, which was continued for decades after his death, to fight rickets by providing a daily milk ration to Chicago school children. Also during the Great Depression, Capone opened up many soup kitchens for the poor and homeless."
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:43AM (#21941836)
    Before you blast the man, think long and hard about the fact that he is the first billionaire to ever publically give away his entire fortune to real charity (that's right, he's not even giving his own kids anything). That's way more than any of the geek "heroes" like Steve Jobs have done or will ever do for humanity.

    It's easy to bad-mouth his business practices, it's easy to bad-mouth his products. But I can't bad-mouth the man himself. He's way more charitable than I would be in the same circumstance.

  • by paxgaea (219419) on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:46AM (#21941864)
    I think some of us pine for what could have been, not the mediocrity that we ended up with as we grew into our technological world (speaking as someone in his early 30's, growing up in the Atari age).

    The negative effect that monopolistic actions have had in stifling innovation has been extremely unfortunate, even if in some ways we don't even realize how unfortunate.

    Also, while I give him credit for what he has been doing lately, as far as I remember, Bill Gates was late to the humanitarian game too. I seem to remember him having to have external pressure applied to get going on that.

    Like many, he has (and will have) a mixed legacy.
  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alphager (957739) <florian.haas@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:58AM (#21941956) Homepage Journal

    Worth also mentioning that its not only open and being implemented as part of Mono, its being directly supported by MS and the Silverlight team.
    As in "Will always lag behind Silverlight, no Silverlight-Dev is working on Moonlight and Silverlight 2.0 will be announced before Moonlight 1.0 is ready". Same as with .NET.
  • Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by encoderer (1060616) on Monday January 07, 2008 @10:06AM (#21942032)
    Uptake has been slow, but when you're Microsoft, you can afford a slow adoption rate. Especially for a technology like this. Microsoft sees the writing on the wall. This is going to be a major component of their web strategy, I'm sure.

    And when it comes down to it, this is just plainly a better technology than Flash. The only advantage flash has is it's adoption rate and mind-share. Eventually these will be neutralized.

    The newest version of ActionScript is a HUGE improvement upon its predecessors. It truly is. But when it comes to building full-featured web apps that look and act like native rich-client apps, it's still nearly as hard to do that with AS in Flash as it is to do it with JS/Ajax/HTML.

    But with silverlight 1.1 you get the ability to use any CLR-based language-- C#, C++.Net, J#, Python.Net, Ruby.Net, TCL.Net, VB.Net, etc etc. You also get the advantage of the largest framework ever shipped with a language (.Net, of course) and the huge amount of existing code. Not to mention, if you've already got an app -- web based or rich client -- written in .Net, you can port it to silverlight without a terrible amount of work. ESPECIALLY if it was designed using an MVC pattern (or, at least, a 2-tiered approach that would allow you to reuse the model & controller code).

    I'm really not a big Microsoft fan. I've spent most the last year developing with PHP on a LAMP stack. But if I was asked to build a large web based app with a rich-client feel and given the choice of Flash and Silverlight, not having ever tried either, I'd feel a lot better about the latter than I do the former.

    I'm not knocking flash. It's just that flash wasn't really designed to build large apps. It's just been manipulated into that in the past couple years. Silverlight, OTOH, was designed precisely for this reason.
  • by Warbothong (905464) on Monday January 07, 2008 @10:16AM (#21942138) Homepage
    Touch screens work on the iPhone because users are going to be doing the same thing anyway if the buttons were physical. Using touch technology exclusively on large areas has been around for years and years, and it is proven to be tiresome (the whole 'gorilla arms' thing). Moving images of photos around on a coffee table? Possibly, but organising a photo collection on such a huge screen by stretching around to touch the things I want? No thanks, I'd prefer a mouse because it's less effort. Use touch-based input for things not possible with other technology, or when people would be doing the same kind of thing anyway (like pressing buttons on a 'phone's keypad or a computer's keyboard), not because it is "natural" (walking is natural, but the wheel is one of the best discoveries yet made). Microsoft's dug themselves quite a firmly entrenched computing world BTW, so getting any significant numbers of people away from generic x86 + Windows XP + VisualBasic + generic USB mouse will be difficult unless they come up with something more impressive than specifying expensive customisation of items via a fingerpainting-accurate interface. In my opinion, if touchscreens were the only kind of pointing device people had thought of up until now then there would be a company like Microsoft doing exactly the same flashy (sorry, Silverlighty) demos as they are now, but replacing "new touch technology" with "new mouse technology" and replacing "natural" with "efficient".
  • by dc29A (636871) * on Monday January 07, 2008 @10:18AM (#21942160)

    Before you blast the man, think long and hard about the fact that he is the first billionaire to ever publically give away his entire fortune to real charity (that's right, he's not even giving his own kids anything). That's way more than any of the geek "heroes" like Steve Jobs have done or will ever do for humanity.


    It's easy to bad-mouth his business practices, it's easy to bad-mouth his products. But I can't bad-mouth the man himself. He's way more charitable than I would be in the same circumstance.

    Did he earn his vast fortune in an ethical, and in some cases legal way?

    No.

    MS is a convicted monopolist on 3 continents. MS used every possible strong arm tactic to cram their shitty OS down on everyone's throat. It's very easy to bad mouth the man himself when he earned most of his fortune by screwing others.

    And I won't even mention BillG's "stellar" predictions. Now let me go back and continue work on my Tablet PC because it's more productive ... oh wait ...
  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilRyry (1025309) on Monday January 07, 2008 @10:27AM (#21942228) Journal

    As siblings have mentioned, Moonlight will likely always be a few steps behind silverlight. Also, there's no guarantee the spec will remain open in the future (see SMB, IE for Mac/UNIX for more info).

    More importantly, Moonlight will never be truly Free. Take a look at the audio/video formats it supports. VC-1... sure great for video, also have the option of WMV which I have a feeling will be quite popular. Audio - WMA or MP3. From Miguel de Icaza's web log [tirania.org]

    Microsoft will make the codecs for video and audio available to users of Moonlight from their web site. The codecs will be binary codecs, and they will only be licensed for use with Moonlight on a web browser

    Sure these formats have been/will be reverse engineered, but with DRM out there in the world it will make decoding DRMed media with open source codecs illegal! So much for free!

    This doesn't make Flash any better, I'm just saying that people who proclaim that Silverlight is great because it will have a real open source implementation aren't telling or don't know the whole story.

  • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lodragandraoidh (639696) on Monday January 07, 2008 @10:55AM (#21942484) Journal
    This looks great...until they break compatibility in some clever way to marginalize some segment.

    Its not about the tool itself; it is about what the Microsoft management/lawyers will do with it to negate their competition. They've done it before, many times. They've been convicted in an antitrust case, dragging it out long enough for a sympathetic administration to bail them out of hot water. They will do it again.

    Microsoft tools are snake oil.
  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:02PM (#21943328) Homepage Journal

    its being directly supported by MS and the Silverlight team.

    ...as long as it's politically convenient, i.e. until it becomes standard.

  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:06PM (#21943376) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft will make the codecs for video and audio available to users of Moonlight from their web site. The codecs will be binary codecs, and they will only be licensed for use with Moonlight on a web browser

    Sure these formats have been/will be reverse engineered, but with DRM out there in the world it will make decoding DRMed media with open source codecs illegal! So much for free!

    Not to mention that the codecs will only run on IA32 or whatever other platform MS chooses to grace with their presence, and explicitly will be useless for anything outside the web.

  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caluml (551744) <slashdot@spCOWam ... minus herbivore> on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:32PM (#21945312) Homepage
    Explain to me why anybody on a non-Microsoft platform would want to run .NET (which from what I can tell is pretty much a direct Java copy) via Mono? IANAD(eveloper).
    Java already exists, is open, tested, and runs on lots of stuff.
  • My 2c on Microsoft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arse maker (1058608) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:56PM (#21945660)
    You can bag microsoft all you want, but for all the things tech companies want to be, microsoft actually did it. Does microsoft get everything right? No, but they are nothing short of impressive when it comes to going back to fix mistakes and completely destroying the competition. Gates doesnt deny this, you win by destroying your competition, not creating the best product. Is bill gates the smartest person who ever lived? No, but hes a very smart guy none the less. Is bill gates the nicest person who ever lived? No, hes an asshole if you are competing with him. But how many people get to the top by counting raindrops and kissing kittens? Steve jobs is exactly the same. It requires drive and single mindedness, even if you are wrong, to do anything of this scale. Im still unsure why microsoft caused a lack of inovation in the computer market, for one, how big were pc's before windows 95? For a guy who gets so many things wrong, microsoft didn't do too bad. We will look back at google in 20 years and see how holy they are then, but I get the feeling you can replace m$ with g$$gle on most comments and it will be pretty close to the mark.
  • Re:Silverlight? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hackstraw (262471) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:59PM (#21945712)
    Silverlight is Microsoft's answer to Flash, more or less. It's supposed to make Web applications more GUI-like and introduce fancy things like 3D graphics and advanced user interfaces to Web applications.

    Wasn't that Java's goals like 10 years ago?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @03:00PM (#21945720)
    Of course, because being an aggressive businessman is totally the same as being a thug and murderer. Or was it because he's aggressive and his software isn't Free? Perhaps some clarification would be useful- which part of his business model is equivalent to murdering people in the streets?

    Captcha: "perplex"

"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc

Working...