Monday, January 07, 2008

Bill Gates - Last Keynote @ CES
It was interesting to attend the last keynote by Bill. It is hard to believe that he will no longer be actively working in technology. He started just a few years before I did. I am not even close to affording a retirement.

I started my programming career with Microsoft Pascal on DOS on an IBM PC
XT. It has been a love / hate relationship with Microsoft (and Bill). I admired Microsoft in the 80s but as they grew big and powerful, I moved over the the other side in the 90s. They have become much less relevant in this decade. Interesting to note that Google is following the Microsoft trajectory, only much faster. I have the same feelings for Google in 5-6 year slots. The cycle is turning much faster.

Bill expects:
  • HD will be everywhere, PCs, TVs and even small devices
  • All devices will be always connected to broadband internet. We will have easy access to our digital memories. Devices will know and use context (location, personal / work, etc.) to simplify navigation
  • Mouse / Keyboard will no longer be the primary interface. Devices and gadgets will have a lot more use of pen, touch, voice, visual (camera driven), gesture, etc as input.
Bill and his team talked about how well they were doing with Vista, Microsoft Live and Microsoft Mobile. Does not ring true. Less than 10% of people I know use these technologies. I think that they are doing well in games and we are planning to embrace Office 2007.

The Microsoft team displayed Surface PC,
Silverlight and the Sync product in Ford cars. Of these, I am most interested in trying the Sync feature. They also showed mobile navigation using building recognition in pictures. Very cool!

Finally, advertising is a big focus for Microsoft as they are trying to compete with Google.

All in all, Microsoft just does not excite the geek in me as it did in the 80s.

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