Breaking the CES jelly

I arrived bleary eyed in Las Vegas this morning around 8am – fresh off a flight back from the UK which landed me at home around 11pm last night – so only a few hours sleep before turning around and heading back to Seattle Tacoma Airport.

Though Day 1 of the show is technically tomorrow,, this was my first day at the show and there was plenty to see. I spent some time at the Microsoft booth which was in the final hours of being built. I always find it fascinating to watch the booths come together as it’s the work of a ton of people that means we’ll all magically wake in the morning to find pristine booths with clean carpets, immaculately applied decals and devices with shiny, polishes screens. Greasy smears will be in evidence a few hours later but for the first few minutes, the booths look like a swimming pool that has yet to be dived in to. We used to call it “breaking the jelly” back when I was in school.


There was still plenty of new today as we held a press conference to talk about Windows support of SoC architectures and Surface 2.0. We then hauled over to the keynote by Steve Ballmer which was a scrum – I got in early at 5:30 and the place was already packed despite the 6:30 kickoff. Lots of other site will give you their views on what Steve and the team had to say and show but here’s my highlights:


  • Kinect enabled Netflix coming this Spring
  • Kinect enabled Hulu Plus coming this Spring….Engadget has coverage of both.
  • Avatar Kinect – your Avatar comes lives with facial recognition technology that controls movements along with expressions. Literally when you smile, frown, nod and speak, your avatar will do the same. You can have Avatar gatherings and the service will be free to Xbox Live Gold members. See what Gizdmodo thinks. Steve Ballmer’s Avatar Kinect was pretty cool.
  • Speaking of which, we now have 30m Xbox Live subscribers – a pretty huge paid for social network
  • …and best of all, we sold 8 million Kinect sensors since launch. wow….that’s a lot of jumping, kicking and petting over the holidays.


that was just the Xbox section of the keynote….on to Windows Phone


  • confirmation that an update will be coming shortly that brings copy and paste as well as performance improvements
  • over 5500 apps in the Marketplace and some cool new Xbox Live games like Fable Coin Golf, Pac Man, Pocket God, Pro Evolution Soccer and more.


Finally, a look at Windows with good time spent showing new Windows devices including the ASUS EP121 Slate PC and a comprehensive demo of Windows running on ARM. This section also included a demo of Surface 2.0 on the the Samsung SUR40 which is a radically different device to it’s predecessor. More on that soon in a post tomorrow and the PixelSense technology. To quote Steve Ballmer, Whatever Device You Use, Windows Will Be There.

Overall a fun fist day during my first visit to CES. In summary, it’s huge, the cab lines are huger and as I expected, power and any kind of connectivity are at a premium. I noticed plenty of the press corps with their own Mifi units at the keynote. And people with coats…it’s cold here in Vegas.

Trivia for the day: Resse’s are the official candy sponsor of CES and have a new candy set to be announced tomorrow. Sweet!