Thu, January 12, 2012
Technology > Technology > 2012 Int'l Consumer Electronics Show

Microsoft pushes Kinect, Nokia and Windows 8 at CES

2012-01-12 09:48:41 GMT2012-01-12 17:48:41(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Gearing up for CES, Microsoft's elves in Redmond must've been extremely busy as it appears that that software giant put in a special effort for its last-ever keynote at the show.

Rather than having Steve Ballmer take the stage and deliver his standard spiel at the audience, Microsoft did things a little differently, by bringing in US telly celeb Ryan Seacrest who interviewed Ballmer, chatted to guests and provided some plain English commentary while demos took place.

First up, Ballmer announced that T-Mobile customers in the US will be able to buy the Nokia Lumia 710 - Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 device.

Based on what I was able to see at the Microsoft stand, the Lumia 710 looked like a nicely-designed phone and its quirky interface feels intuitive in use while not getting in the way of most tasks I threw at it.

Staying on a high note, Ballmer also talked up Xbox 360 sales, which have passed the 66 million unit mark, and Xbox Live subscriber base, which is closing on 40 million globally.

Its ground-breaking Kinect sensor has also chalked up serious sales, with more than 18 million shipped since launch.

Staying with positive numbers, Ballmer said Windows 7 remains one of Microsoft's fastest selling operating systems, with more than 500 million Windows 7 licenses sold - apparently equating to seven copies a second.

Office 365 also seems to be delivering the goods and is now being used by 80 million people worldwide. The numbers look equally impressive for Skype with 200 million people using a staggering 300 billion Skype voice and video minutes annually.

Ultrabooks

Microsoft also showcased several new ultrabook PCs and announced a partnership with NewsCorp which should see new content being bought to the Xbox LIVE marketplace, including US NewsCorp broadcasts, news and web media, including Fox News, IGN Entertainment and The Wall Street Journal. It is unlikely that these services will find their way to New Zealand, much like Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and many others.

Microsoft also announced that a new Kinect for Windows commercial program will kick off in the 1st of February.

Microsoft is looking to move Kinect for Windows beyond gaming and entertainment and to this end, have inked deals to develop Kinect applications with over 200 partners, including Toyota, Mattel and American Express. Things could soon be very Minority Report for Windows users.

(Agencies)

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