Well, time for Microsoft to shine at CES.
It's official Windows 7 Beta 1 is released to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, it will be available Friday (January 9th, 2009) to the public. My Windows 7 beta 1 review here. There was a cool tour given. The Touch features look pretty awesome, though I don't think Windows 7 will usher in the touch era.
Windows Live gets a partnership with Facebook and an overall Google integration type of feeling. Windows Live gets status updates (or What's new feed from a bunch of different social networking sites), integrated photo albums, etc. Live messenger gets a fun new user tile video feature.
OK side note: Dear CES presenters, Don't be cute, just show me stuff. You're not George Carlin, you're a geek, but it's cool - that's what we want! I'm glad I'm watching the keynote on delay so I could forward past 3 guys whistling or whatever the hell that was.
Mediaroom looks like fun for giving the TV a tech edge. Though a lot of the DVR features have already been in existence, it's cool Microsoft is pulling it all together and taking the lead.
Halo gets props at CES, with Halo Wars (a strategy game with a teen rating) coming out on February 28th 2009. Online demo can be downloaded February 5th, 2009. Halo 3 ODST, more of a first person shooter comes in 2009 as well.
Xbox Live a social experience? I disagree - I just want to frag you, or beat you in NHL, don't be my friend.
Xbox Live Primtime (coming Spring 2009)... Scheduling events to play games in cyber space w/avitars. Could be fun if you're really young or really old.
Xbox Live + Netflix, this is pretty cool, it came out in November, you can stream whatever you want from Netflix to your Xbox in HD, neat.
So they bring up a 12 year old girl "Sparrow" to show what she made on Kodu (a channel on Xbox live that teaches kids how to program, lets them create their own game). Cool, but useless.
Concepts in research for future technologies:
Showing off a digital interactive textbook connected to the internet with a sweet touch screen. I wish I would of had that while I was in school and can't wait to see how the kids of tomorrow hack these things to watch porn in 8th grade earth science.
Ah Microsoft Surface again! I loved this thing when it came out, was that a year or two now? What's it doing at CES 09? Is it going to be here at 2010? Can I have one? Where do I even buy one already? I'd love to have that on my coffee table, I'd probably use an 1/8 of it's power, but it'd be cool.
And it's over. I think they did a good job talking about some new technologies, they offered a lot more than Apple did that's for sure, but nothing really earth shattering, we all knew about Windows 7, tablet PCs, Surface, Xbox Live, Windows Live Essentials just seems to be a a bunch of different Microsoft offerings rolled up together.