Microsoft CES 2011 – Slick New Kinect Features, Windows and Surface 2.0

Microsoft made a big splash at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show amid the glitz, glamor and bright lights of Las Vegas.

In his keynote speech at the Las Vegas Hilton, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a number of major announcements around Xbox 360, new enhancements to Windows Phone 7 and the next generation of Microsoft Surface, the company’s natural user interface technology. The full story is available in the Microsoft News Center.

The news around Xbox 360 was extremely exciting. During Ballmer’s keynote, several slick new features that integrate the Kinect for Xbox 360 with online content services such as Zune music and movies, Netflix, Hulu and ESPN took center stage.

With the Kinect, consumers will be able to browse, watch, pause and resume movies and music with a wave of their hand or using the sound of their own voices. The new Avatar Kinect service will also give Kinect owners an innovative and fresh way to socialize on the Xbox 360.

It was also announced that a slew of new Xbox 360 games will soon be available for Windows Phone 7 smartphones, including “Pac-Man,” “Halo Waypoint,” “Tetris,” “Assassin’s Creed” and “Monopoly,” among others.

Ballmer’s keynote was also replete with Windows-related news.

Several new Windows PCs from a variety of manufacturers were shown, including a new Tablet PC equipped with both a touch screen and a stylus and a dual-screen PC that drew applause from the audience. In addition, a next-generation version of Microsoft Surface, with a super-sensitive natural user interface, the hardware for which was developed in conjunction with Samsung, also made its debut.

“Only the imagination limits what can be done with Windows PCs today,” Ballmer said.

Earlier in the day, Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, announced that the next version of Windows will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures from NVIDIA Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc., as well as x86 systems from Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. 

During his keynote, Ballmer demonstrated the next version of Windows as well as productivity applications such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint running on devices powered by SoC technology.

For further details on the chip announcement, read this Q&A with Sinofsky.

More pictures and material regarding Microsoft’s presence at CES are available on Facebook.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs