Good Show & the Deadly "BSoD"

Nachdem Dank interessanter Anfragen und Auftragseingänge die Reise zur CES, zur Consumer Electronis Show, abgesagt werden musste (es gibt wahrlich schlimmeres ;-) wird auch unser Info-Kanal stark durch die "Netz-News" gefüttert werden, von denen wir hier - stellvertretend - einen Bericht über die schon zur Tradition gewordene Eröffnungsrede des Herrn Gates zum Besten geben, verfasst von dem routinierten Joris Evers von der "Computerworld". [1]

Bemerkenswert sind die nachfolgend zitierten Zeilen dennoch: die Idee von dem digitalen Lebensstil ist bereits im letzten Jahrhundert mit dem genialen "digitall" Wort-Logo von Samsung eingeführt worden. Und selbst
Intel ist inzwischen dabei, sich mit dem Motto vom digitalen Lebensraum auf einem der vorderen Plätze auf den Consumerhitparaden der "Bee-to-Cee"-Märkte einzukaufen.

Während aber die "intel inside"-Prototypen für die Wohnung kaum noch das Aussehen eines Computers haben, bleibt es Microsoft überlassen, die Rolle des PC-Vorreiters und -Buhmanns zu spielen.

Als Vorreiter profilierte sich Microsoft mit der Entscheidung, eine neue Allianz mit dem ITV-Konkurrenten Tivo einzugehen - als Buhmann, als inmitten der Show das Microsoft Media Center in dem Moment "crashed", als darin digitale Fotos eingespielt und vorgeführt werden sollten.

Mehr noch: es gab auch wieder einen von jenen berühmt-gefürchteten "BSoD’s live on stage"
 [2], als die Vorführung des neuen Spiels "Forza Motor Sport" misslang.

Und last but by no means least: gelang es während der gleichen Schau auch nicht, einen mobilen Tablet PC mit dem Internet zu verbinden; als es schliesslich soweit war, ging der Mann mit dem Teil gerade wieder von der Bühne...

In his ninth keynote speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Bill Gates didn’t unveil any new Microsoft Corp. products, opting instead to promote the company’s existing products and highlight partner offerings.

In previous years, the Microsoft chairman and chief software architect has used his keynote speech at the annual consumer electronics industry confab to unveil products such as the Xbox game console, wireless displays or smart watches. Not this year.

In addition to making no new product announcements, Gates didn’t set out a new or updated Microsoft vision of computing and electronics for consumers. In a mock episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Gates instead discussed his vision of a digital lifestyle. Interviewed by O’Brien, Gates told the audience that Microsoft can enable that lifestyle with products available today, such as Windows XP Media Center Edition, Portable Media Centers, MSN online services and the Xbox.

"Look at today’s living room, you have five remote controls and you still can’t get your music where you want it," Gates said. Microsoft can overcome this problem by integrating its products, he said.

O’Brien was onstage with Gates to provide comic relief for the audience. He did a stand-up routine making fun of Microsoft and technology industry executives and got unsolicited help from botched product demonstrations, including the demonstration of a Windows XP Media Center Edition PC that repeatedly refused to show a slide show of pictures taken of O’Brien and Gates out for a night on the town.

Microsoft has divided its vision of the digital lifestyle into five categories that align with its products: music, pictures, television, communication and gaming. The company, helped by hardware makers, has delivered products that can integrate all of these categories, Gates said.

Gates’ speech this year was short on news because Microsoft has no major consumer products coming out this year. The next big product introduction is expected to be Longhorn, the successor to Windows XP, which is due in 2006, said Joe Wilcox, a senior analyst at Jupiter Research in Washington.

"This is a transition year to the next operating system," Wilcox said. "If you look at past CES [keynote speeches], you had Microsoft announcing new stuff that would be coming out in the year ahead. If you look at this year, there is more momentum news than talk about new things,"

The keynote address, which Microsoft sees as an annual overview of its consumer strategy, was not entirely void of news. For example, Microsoft is working with South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. on a device that combines a digital video recorder with a DVD recorder and is also able to access content on Windows PCs, Gates said.

Also, Microsoft has struck a deal with MTV Networks Inc. to build content services based on Windows Media technologies. The MTV content will also be available to Windows Media Center users, according to Microsoft. Additional content agreements have been signed with Yahoo Inc. and Fox Sports, Gates said.

In addition, looking to further improve the Windows user experience, Microsoft will also work with rival TiVo Inc. to extend the recently announced TiVoToGo service. Users will be able to transfer recordings from their TiVo device to Windows Mobile devices such as Pocket PCs, smart phones or portable media centers, Gates said.

But Gates talked mostly about momentum for Microsoft products. For example, he noted that Windows Media Player 10 has been downloaded more than 95 million times since its release a few months ago and that Microsoft has now sold 1.4 million copies of Media Center Edition, up from 1 million at the end of September.

Microsoft has also won another customer for its system that delivers television signals to consumers over a broadband telecommunications network. U.S. carrier BellSouth Corp. has committed to using the Microsoft IP television, Gates announced. It wasn’t clear, however, when BellSouth actually plans to roll out IPTV services.

Furthermore, the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), announced at CES two years ago, is finally moving beyond watches. At CES, will Microsoft announce that Oregon Scientific Inc. will sell alarm clocks that use the technology to download weather information.

Back in 2003, Microsoft envisioned SPOT in a raft of appliances, even refrigerator magnets that could download the latest special offer from a local pizza restaurant. SPOT uses a portion of the FM radio spectrum to deliver information to devices equipped with the technology.

Onstage, Gates and O’Brien also demonstrated a Nikon Corp. digital camera with support for Microsoft’s Media Transfer Protocol, a synchronization protocol that promises to make transferring data from portable devices to Windows-based PCs simpler and faster. Canon Inc. already supports the protocol.

While the entertainment value was high, the keynote lacked new products, said CES attendee Dror Amir, an electronic business and automation manager at the La Curacao department store in Los Angeles. "They are getting better at entertainment, but there were no new products, only more on products we already know," he said.

(c) Story copyright 2004 International Data Group / JANUARY 06, 2005 (IDG NEWS SERVICE)

[1Stunden später gibt es dann auch die Reaktionen in der bundesdeutschen Presse, von der hier stellvertretend auf den kostenpflichtigen
Spiegel-Online -Dienst und die FAZ.NET - Seite verwiesen wird.

[2BSoD steht für "Blue Screen of Death" und meint jenes uniforme Monitorblau, das erscheint, wenn ein nicht mehr lauffähiges Computerprogramm den Blick auf die Icons auf dem Desktop verweigert. Das erste Mal geschah dies wohl auf der damals noch hochlebendigen Computer-Show "Comdex", als im Jahre 1998 erstmals eine "Windows 98" Demo vorgeführt werden sollte - und auch dieses zunächst misslang...