CES: Microsoft keynote underwhelms with few surprises

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft kicked off the Consumer Electronics Show Wednesday evening with a relatively subdued keynote that highlighted an upcoming update to Windows Phone 7 and demoed Windows on ARM's system-on-a-chip architecture.



Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage late Wednesday in a keynote that, according to MSNBC, had "less ambition than expected." Prior to the event, rumors had surfaced that the Redmond, Wash., Windows maker would reveal details about its next major Windows upgrade or possibly a Windows TV set top box platform, but Ballmer instead focused on incremental feature upgrades to its Xbox, Windows Phone 7, and Windows PC products.



The software giant did, however, make news earlier in the day when it revealed that it was readying a version of Windows that would run on ARM's low-power system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture, though attendees were disappointed to learn that demos of the next version of Windows on an Arm SoC used the Windows 7 interface.



Apple has used SoC designs for several years, culminating in the iPad's custom A4 SoC in early 2010. The A4 has since made its way into the iPhone 4, the iPod touch and the Apple TV.



"We have a chip called A4," Steve Jobs said when he unveiled the iPad, "which is our most advanced chip we've ever done that powers the iPad. It's got the processor, the graphics, the I/O, the memory controller -- everything in this one chip, and it screams."



Microsoft's move to SoC platforms, both x86- and ARM-based, is part of a broad-reaching goal to compete in markets ranging in size from smaller mobile devices to larger servers.



"Whatever device you use... Windows will be there," said Ballmer during Wednesday's keynote, Engadget reports. "Windows PCs will continue to adapt and evolve. Windows will be everywhere on every device without compromise."



Ballmer announced several new features for the Xbox platform. Hulu Plus is coming to Xbox, and Kinect motion controls to Netflix and Hulu Plus. Additionally, a new Avatar Kinect chat service will use the Kinect motion camera for an animated chat service.



According to Ballmer, the rapid success of the Kinect was a surprise for Microsoft. Microsoft had predicted sales of 5 million Kinect sensors this holiday season, but worldwide sales have already topped 8 million.



Windows Phone 7 is soon to get an update, which will add the much-missed copy and paste feature and improve speed. Also, WP7 phones will be coming to Verizon and Sprint in the first half of this year.







Ballmer also took the time to highlight his company's focus on leveraging its Xbox successes on the Windows Phone 7 platform. "Fable," a flagship game for the Xbox, will make its way onto Windows Phone 7 soon, said Ballmer.







Windows Phone 7 got off to a rocky start. Initial reviews of WP7 found it to be several years behind Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS. Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore admitted that Microsoft may need at least two years to catch up to its competitors. The company recently announced it had shipped 1.5 million WP7 phones into retail channel inventories, though it declined to say how many it had sold.



As expected, Microsoft demoed new PCs running Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, including several slate and tablet PCs from various manufacturers. In a better showing than last year's HP Slate debacle, all of the devices demoed are "up for order right now," according to Microsoft's Mike Angiulo.



In an attempt to catch up Apple's impressive lead in the tablet market with the iPad, a number of competitors have unveiled tablet devices at this year's CES. On Tuesday, Taiwanese PC maker Asus revealed plans for three families of tablet-style products, while Chinese computer giant Lenovo took the wraps off its LePad tablet.



Earlier Wednesday, Motorola showed off its Xoom tablet, the first tablet to run Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Not to be outdone, Research in Motion has the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on display at CES.



According to Forrester Research, tablet sales will more than double this year to 24 million units, with Apple's iPad making up the "lion's share" of sales.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 156
    DED wrote this with out a doubt.
  • Reply 2 of 156
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    Is this article serious??? I just finished watching the keynote and I was impressed.



    Hopefully Apple is still a step ahead...
  • Reply 3 of 156
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I know people will laugh at Windows 8 on ARM but Cortex-A15 will be up 2.5GHz, have up to 8 cores and be designed with actual servers in mind. This will not be an area MS will want to ignore. This is a smart move and being done well before it’ll be fashionable. That’s a good thing for a company that has been notorious for only reacting after the fact.



    All said, i think this is the best CES MS has had this decade.
  • Reply 4 of 156
    I must say the Kinect sales are ridiculous!
  • Reply 5 of 156
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post


    I must say the Kinect sales are ridiculous!



    The previous claim that it would outsell the iPad look to be correct, and by a large margin.
  • Reply 6 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The previous claim that it would outsell the iPad look to be correct, and by a large margin.



    My take is I don't think the claim was specifically aimed at Ipad, just the nature of demand.



    Quote:

    "The preorders have been really strong. As far as what we're looking at for Holiday, this is going to be stuff that'll blow away any of the sales you've seen with iPad," says Tsunoda, when asked what he though about the device's chances of success.



    Kudo Tsunoda Interview
  • Reply 7 of 156
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    I know MS$ is a touchy subject here, but this might give Intel the boot to start trying to compete with ARM processors. Intel may have the next best thing right now, but ARM is taking quite a bit of market share from them between tablets, and now net books and phones. I think phones will really be the computer of the future. Just my opinion.
  • Reply 8 of 156
    I'd like to see a full Snow Leopard/Lion desktop running on ARM.
  • Reply 9 of 156
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post


    My take is I don't think the claim was specifically aimed at Ipad, just the nature of demand.



    Quote:

    "The preorders have been really strong. As far as what we're looking at for Holiday, this is going to be stuff that'll blow away any of the sales you've seen with iPad," says Tsunoda, when asked what he though about the device's chances of success.



    Kudo Tsunoda Interview



    As your quoted text clearly shows his comment specifically names the iPad. I think it’s then fair to see if that claim was accurate or merely bombastic. 8 million in 2 months beats all previous iPad unit sales. A win is a win, even if these sales aren’t likely sustainable.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post


    I'd like to see a full Snow Leopard/Lion desktop running on ARM.



    Looking at iOS I’d say they’re a lot further along with that than MS is right now.
  • Reply 10 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    As your quoted text clearly shows his comment specifically names the iPad. I think it?s then fair to see if that claim was accurate or merely bombastic. 8 million in 2 months beats all previous iPad unit sales. A win is a win, even if these sales aren?t likely sustainable.



    And iPhone case sales will blow away Kinect sales by an order of magnitude! Wow!



    Apples and oranges. I don't understand why they are making the comparison they are. Shouldn't they be talking about the Sony motion controller sales intead?
  • Reply 11 of 156
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post


    And iPhone case sales will blow away Kinect sales by an order of magnitude! Wow!



    Apples and oranges. I don't understand why they are making the comparison they are. Shouldn't they be talking about the Sony motion controller sales intead?



    It’s simple marketing. The iPad was the biggest new CE product of 2010. So they made a claim against that new product. Whether Tsunoda actually believed it would blow away the iPad sales at a 5M estimate is unknown, but the effect was prominent. The news spread across the net quickly. Ask yourself this: Do you think AI would have covered the article if he said the Kinect would outsell the Wii this holiday?
  • Reply 12 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post


    And iPhone case sales will blow away Kinect sales by an order of magnitude! Wow!



    Apples and oranges. I don't understand why they are making the comparison they are. Shouldn't they be talking about the Sony motion controller sales intead?



    They don't have anything to talk about there.



    Sony didn't give any numbers today and at last count it was 4.1million Move controllers in 2 months. (Also, I'm not sure how they are counting, as for some games you might use 2 controllers.)
  • Reply 13 of 156
    It might be instructive to google "Windows Everywhere." Seems to me, Microsoft began using this slogan during the mid-90s. And here I thought they'd allowed that undeliverable, not to mention undesireable, concept to slip beneath the waves long ago.



    But "LePad" is the real winner here. Buy one and take it home in your LeCar.
  • Reply 14 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I know people will laugh at Windows 8 on ARM but Cortex-A15 will be up 2.5GHz, have up to 8 cores and be designed with actual servers in mind. This will not be an area MS will want to ignore. This is a smart move and being done well before it’ll be fashionable. That’s a good thing for a company that has been notorious for only reacting after the fact.



    All said, i think this is the best CES MS has had this decade.



    ARM Cortex A-15 has up to 4 cores. And this is a new decade.



  • Reply 15 of 156
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Ha Har When I posted the rumour that Windows on ARM was going to be announced at CES on this thread: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=116280



    Several said it wasn't going to be Windows 7 Desktop on ARM



    Insanity is releasing Windows 7 Desktop on Intel Tablets and failing,

    and releasing Windows 7 Desktop on ARM Tablets... and failing again.



    That said fair enough this was just a demo so who knows what Windows for ARM will actually be like.
  • Reply 16 of 156
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Shh... Don't tell Wizard(Dave)... He says ARM is way too slow to be useful, let alone for i86-equivalent apps! (Yes, I'm paraphrasing you somewhat Dave)



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    ARM Cortex A-15 has up to 4 cores.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I know people will laugh at Windows 8 on ARM but Cortex-A15 will be up 2.5GHz, have up to 8 cores and be designed with actual servers in mind. This will not be an area MS will want to ignore. This is a smart move and being done well before it’ll be fashionable. That’s a good thing for a company that has been notorious for only reacting after the fact.



    All said, i think this is the best CES MS has had this decade.



  • Reply 17 of 156
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    ARM Cortex A-15 has up to 4 cores.



    That’s what I thought up until an hour ago when I read that it will have up to 8 cores and was told by another that 8 cores was correct. I should have stuck with 4 in my post. :/



    edit: Under the Performance tab it does say "1.5GHz – 2.5 GHz quad-core, octo-core or larger configurations” and first assumed that was multiple processors on one board.
  • Reply 18 of 156
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 787member
    No surprises from Balmer. None expected. HO-Hum
  • Reply 19 of 156
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post


    I know MS$ is a touchy subject here, but this might give Intel the boot to start trying to compete with ARM processors. Intel may have the next best thing right now, but ARM is taking quite a bit of market share from them between tablets, and now net books and phones. I think phones will really be the computer of the future. Just my opinion.



    The funny thing is that Intel had a competent ARM architecture (StrongARM, X-Scale) a few years back for PocketPCs... but once the market for dedicated PDAs died, Intel bailed and sold the assets to Marvell.



    DOH!!



    They still have an ARM license though, so who knows what will happen...
  • Reply 20 of 156
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    It?s simple marketing. The iPad was the biggest new CE product of 2010. So they made a claim against that new product. Whether Tsunoda actually believed it would blow away the iPad sales at a 5M estimate is unknown, but the effect was prominent. The news spread across the net quickly. Ask yourself this: Do you think AI would have covered the article if he said the Kinect would outsell the Wii this holiday?



    Ah, a pissing contest. Got it.
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