Gates/Microsoft Keynote @ CES

kinnon —  January 4, 2006 — Leave a comment

I just finished watching a stream of the Gates/Microsoft Keynote @ CES (the show begins officially tomorrow) and I confess I was impressed. But my first response – thank goodness there was no PowerPoint!! (MSFT must have been reading Presentation Zen.) The Scoble Bunny has live blogged the keynote and there will be comments everywhere in the blogosphere shortly.

Not a lot of time was spent on Vista which pays homage to OSX (although the 3D open document flip book [Flip 3d] is very cool) and in spite of my Mac leaning, Vista will be running on our PCs here as soon as it’s released. (We have an equal number of Macs and PCs.) The focus was on the “immersive experience” of Microsoft driven pixels. (If I heard “immersive” one more time…) And there is some very cool stuff coming from MSFT and their partners in the not to distant future.

With my work in TV production, the key for me is MSFT’s understanding of Media distribution – it’s anything anywhere approach with playback on your phone, your handheld video player (the Toshiba GigaBeat and LG widescreen players were quite cool), your laptop, desktop or HD screen in the living room. The ability to move content to whatever playback device you choose (while remaining within certain Rights Management restrictions) is key to the success of Media Center.

Bill talked about advertisers being able to more effectively target viewers – with those viewers wanting to see the content. This is something I’ll talk more about in The Future of Broadcasting Part Two (hopefully tomorrow morning). Monetizing content is going to be critical to content producers. “Free TV” has only been free as a result of the unwritten contract that exists between the broadcaster and the viewer that the viewer will watch the commercials that pay for the content. That world is fading to black. But more on that tomorrow.

MSFT showed the HDDVD “immersive” experience with their interactivity layers – being able to search for additional content while viewing movies. We often have multiple laptops open in the Kinnon household so that we can search actors, locations, back stories, etc when we are watching movies or documentaries. HDDVD and Media Center let you do that while being “immersed.”

Xbox (in spite of the money that MSFT apparently loses with each box) has been a phenomenal success for the company – because it is a content delivery platform – and Microsoft understands the value in content. It’s beginning to play a key role in MSFT’s HD strategy. An HDDVD external player is coming for it later this year.

I’m looking forward to being at CES. We live in very interesting technology times. Stay tuned.

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kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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