January 4, 2006 6:30 PM PST

Gates shows off Vista in CES keynote

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LAS VEGAS--After months of touting Vista's geekier side, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Wednesday highlighted features of the new version of Windows designed to appeal to the average consumer.

During his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show here, Gates demonstrated new photo-editing tools and a revamped media player designed to improve the way that Windows tackles the most commonly used media files. Gates also showed the improved remote-control experience that will be part of the Media Center edition of Vista.

Gates began his speech by noting his recent appearance, along with his wife, Melinda, and U2's Bono, as Time magazine's "Persons of the Year." He said there were other strong contenders. "Probably if there had been one more hurricane, Mother Nature would have been on the cover," he said. "For a lot of reasons I'm glad that didn't happen."

Click here to Play

Bringing Vista to life
During the CES kickoff, Bill Gates shows how the upcoming Windows OS works.

Click here to Play

The future is digital
What to expect by the end of the decade? Gates offers some clues.

As he usually does at CES, Gates offered his vision of the digital future. His demonstration illustrated a typical day from the future, which began at home with an on-demand video clip and included a look at a map that showed the location of his family members. After heading into the office, he used three large flat-screen monitors to take part in a videoconference.

Finally he headed to the airport with just his cell phone. At the airport lounge, his cell phone connected to a screen and he instantly had a full desktop to work on. The phone could even connect to a nearby camera. "The phone is very different. The idea of a meeting is very different," Gates said.

Gates touched on many of the same points as last year's speech, talking about the increasing role that digital gadgets are playing in everyday life. Since the demise of the fall Comdex trade show, Gates' CES speech has become a virtual state-of-the-electronics-industry address.

A look at Vista
Among the new graphics abilities in Vista that Microsoft showed off was Flip 3D, a tool for easily shifting among multiple open windows and the Windows Vista Sidebar, which runs in the corner of the screen and includes RSS feeds, sports scores and other small applications. Microsoft showed Sidebar in the first preview of Longhorn (Vista's code name), but the feature had disappeared from Microsoft's feature list before reappearing more recently.

Microsoft's photo-editing program--Photo Gallery--allows users to do basic editing, as well as sort photos by date, keyword and other information. The program, which will be built into Vista, appears to be similar to Apple Computer's iPhoto.

special coverage
Apple's new crop
Sink your teeth into all the news from this week's Macworld Expo.

Like iPhoto, the Photo Gallery software keeps a separate copy of the photo so users can make changes to their images without losing their original. A new slideshow feature allows users to mix video images and still photos.

Microsoft also showed off a forthcoming update to the classic Microsoft program Flight Simulator to highlight the graphics and gaming power of Vista. The demo included helicopters and flying birds, among other realistic details.

Xbox marks the spot
Along with Vista, Gates is also made his case for HD DVD--one of two competing formats for next-generation DVDs. Gates said Microsoft would offer an external HD DVD drive that can connect to the recently released Xbox 360 game console.

By offering the drive as an Xbox add-on, Microsoft is hoping to win over consumers with a cheaper option than buying an all-new device to play next-generation Blu-ray or HD DVD discs.

Microsoft also said it expects to have 50 high-definition games on the market by June. Microsoft demonstrated the HD games via Electronics Arts' "Fight Night Round 3," which matched up Gates as Muhammed Ali with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as Joe Frazier.

Gates landed some early punches while Frazier started slowly. Meanwhile, the two executives traded barbs, with Ballmer taking the first jab.

"Thirty years I've been training for this opportunity," Ballmer said.

Showing off some fancy footwork, Gates got in his own shot.

"You've got the weight on me, I'll give you that," said Gates, who won the bout after knocking down Ballmer. An instant replay showed blood spurting from Frazier's mouth.

CONTINUED: New partners…
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Old stuff
Expose, Dashboard... Old Mac OS X features.

The Flip 3D stuff is really weird, so you have to waste a lot of time
scrolling to find the window you want. Dashboard: 2 clicks, Activate
and Select.
Posted by Macniatic (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
but expose is even faster than that, just push a button and
click and bam your at the window you want
Posted by (7 comments )
Link Flag
I'm not a Mac apologist though I do use an iPod and Powerbook,
but it has been a long time since anything Bill Gates has announced
can really be called "state of the industry" or really very original.

Too bad MS's huge leverage with Palm and MTV and DirectTV will
reduce the ability for others to actually innovate. This is how
monopolies hurt the free market....a constant series of road blocks
in the name of business.
Posted by MacGregory (53 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"The future is digital"
This time, Mr. Gates view of the future may be relatively
accurate. After all, most of what he demonstrated (in the video)
has been available to consumers for a few years.

For example, I can use iChatAV to set up realistic 4 way video
conferences, a Yahoo widget to track current traffic conditions,
and iTunes and NetNewsWire to keep up with various text and
video rss feeds. Data on my home and work computers is
automatically synced, and any changes made to my calendar or
contact information on either computer or my Nokia phone is
automatically updated on all devices.

Granted my system is not as sophisticated as shown on Mr.
Gates system, (which appears to have cost $100,000 plus) but
then each of my computers cost about $1000.

I'm sure Windows users will enjoy these features if they are
incorporated into the OS in the next five years or so as Mr. Gates
predicts. And if they don't want to wait they can just stop by
their local Apple store and get them today.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Funny,I didn't wait for Apple to 'inovate'
everything you have mentioned has been available on Window's boxes via third party stuff a lot longer then it's been around on an Apple. And my machines cost less then $600, and still do all this stuff.
Oh well, you fan-boys are always behind the curve. Nice to see you can brag so ignorantly about it.
Posted by catchall (245 comments )
Link Flag
Hey, all this stuff can be done on windows too, and I can record tv on my PC using my media center. Oh wait, mac can't do that. Oops, maybe OSX will catch up this year to what has been available to windows users for 2 years, who knows.
Posted by Rolndubbs (194 comments )
Link Flag
Too much tech???
As great a tool as technology is in the workplace, I personally know that my home won't become the tech palace that Bill envisions. Home for me is a refuge from all the tech stuff that I work with each day. For me, a screen will never replace a book, and my kids drawings will be on the refrigerator, not on a screen on the wall. All this geeky stuff that Bill pushes for the home seems way over the top to me. Luckily, my wife agrees!
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My wife whole heartedly agrees with your statements.
I do too, but I can't help bring some of the technology freak into my house. I like the phrase "everything in moderation".
Posted by *Porter* (14 comments )
Link Flag
Another empty promise?
Bill and company have promised a lot in the past several years with
no deliveries, more vaporware? I think so.
Posted by thomcarl (72 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Empty Promises?
Hmm, I remember Steve jobs saying something about how powerful and scalable the G5 was and that he'd have a 3 ghz at some point....when was that, like 3 years ago? The point is every company aims high, but then reality sinks in. Its the nature of the tech business.

MS hasn't delivered on somethings in the past. But the tide is changing, and they are actually delivering quite good products right now..VS 05 and SQL 05 are perfect examples.
Posted by SystemsJunky (409 comments )
Link Flag
Vista? What's that. When Bill Gates looks out his windows and sees nothing but patch after patch. Ha, ha, ha.
Posted by aqvanavt (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
good one
(no text)
Posted by nmcphers (261 comments )
Link Flag
VISTA is an acronym...
VISTA = Virus Infection and Spyware Transmission Architecture.

Honestly, it'll probably be an improvement in security over their existing products (if for no other reason than it's a new and different target).

Unfortunately, if you watched the CES keynote by Gates you'd know nothing about that. You would have learned that they've added drag-and-drop between the Outlook address book (which they've made more like KDE's Kontact) and NetMeeting (whose interface has been updated to be more like the Mac and Linux equivalents).

You'll learn that finally get native multiple monitors working and even have added an extension to RDP that lets you operate an off-screen portion of the display on another device (you've been able to do the same thing in X for a decade).

Basically, you saw all the eye-candy, but none of the meat. You also saw a gian display on Bill's desk that everyone can be jealous of but only Bill could afford. It's okay though, it's the eye-candy that sells and gives the appearance of innovation.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft vs Google
Whenever I read articles on Microsoft, I get the feeling that we're suppose to be excited when Microsoft adds new eye candy to their operating system. I then compare the Microsoft's work to Google's, and I always get a sense that Google is working more productive, has exciting techonology while Microsoft is bogged down in bureaucratic red tape.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm reminded...
of a movie called "Johnny Mnemonic". In this movie, there was an illness called NAS: Nerve Attenuation Syndrome. Basically, all those tech devices, which were wireless, were pumping out so many radio waves into the air that people's nervous systems started breaking down, causing them seizures to the point of death.

Bill's future reminds me of this, a world where we can't live without our gadgets, but our gadgets are going to kill us some day...

Just my .02 that and I'm bored at work.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's again Bill puts a lots of programs and maybe it will be imposible to unistall, like IE or Windows media player, and that is monopoly and nobody says nothing about it....
Posted by mortaja (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Get a clue
Microsoft sells a product. It includes IE, Windows Media Player, and a ton of other great software. If you don't like them, don't by Windows. Its that simple. There are other OS out there. Plus you can always install another software package and use it instead.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
I wish I could "uninstall" Walmart from the nerest corner..Monopolies suck, but they are here to stay obviously.
Posted by SystemsJunky (409 comments )
Link Flag
The stupid f'in EU MADE Microsoft release a version of Windows XP without media player. Guess what? NOBODY WANTS THE THING!!! They want to plug in/install the software and run, not install more software!!!

Instead of taking Microsoft for being a monopoly, they should sue all IS Managers and every other person who wants to buy a product that is ready to go out of the box!!!

EVERYONE who bought a pc in the last few years wanted it to work right away. There is only a few of others who would rather install another more cumbersome OS that isn't compatible with most software.
Posted by fjellt (18 comments )
Link Flag
Monopoly nonsense...
Microsoft have never been a monopoly, ever. Sure the court system said so, but that's just because when you're sittin' on a pile of cash, everyone wants some of it.

Any user, corporate or otherwise, could have bought a Mac, Linux, Atari, or Amiga. No one was forced to buy Microsoft, ever.
Posted by nazzdeq (74 comments )
Link Flag
Mac can do this...
What can a mac do that a pc cannot?

Surf the web, while chatting on iChat, while burning a dvd in the background, while playing a movie in another window, VPN'ed into work and ssh'ed into production servers all wirelessly via my EVDO card while riding in a car without fear that my laptop will crash.

PC would **** its pants.
Posted by nazzdeq (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So Mac's are the only ones capable of multitasking? Give me a break.

Look, if you don't like huge corporations like Microsoft and Walmart to become monopolies, DON'T BUY THEIR PRODUCTS. This is the way business works, and has worked in this country, I don't know, since it's inception. Do we want a free-market, or a socialist one?
Posted by tahbasco (30 comments )
Link Flag
Do you people have anything new to say?
Geeze we have the Mac people that just wait to say Mac does that. I guess they have no life of their own and just wait to use their limited vocabulary and then we have the Microsoft haters who again say the same thing.

Personally, I am looking forwards to the new version. Like it or not Windows has only gotten better with each version and I know Vista is going to be an improvement. Sure there are security issues but the Mac has that, the Mac also has a Monopoly on the hardware, Microsoft has one on the OS. Open source software has had its fair share of security issues just look at Firefox and Linux.

You people need to get a life and look on the positive things coming in Windows Vista.

Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Do you????
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Look's nice, but...
how does it drive. :)

I've come to two conclusion in my tech life. There is no perfect OS and the war of words isn't going to make Microsoft go away or Linux and Mac any better.

Here's what I want in an OS. Nothing. Take all the extra crap from every OS and toss all the pretty stuff. I wan't a simple, fast, and secure OS that doesn't come preloaded with every bit of crap they couldn't sell. I don't want an OS that's hard to manage beit a home pc or a work pc or server. I wan't them to stop loading computers up with a bunch of crap nobody should use.

BUT, it's never going to happen. We live in a world were people just got to have every feature they can get. Load that computer up like a pack mule and just watch how slow it can go.

I wish I could say one is better than the other, but the reality is they all suck in some way. As a society we have gone from controling technology to letting technology control us. We can't be happy with a calculator we gotta have a super duper highly integrated windowed Personal Calculator that can predict how much money we are going to spend on our next computer purchase.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank You Matt
Posted by SystemsJunky (409 comments )
Link Flag
At least
Other OS's give you the option of what YOU want to install when you install the OS and lets you install any program you wish without affecting the OS.

Does windows? Maybe in 100 years from now. MS tells you what you want to install with your OS and makes you keep it, whether you want to or not.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Nothing impressive...
Well, I'm not impressed at all. It's just like putting in whatever XP doesn't have into a 'new' OS, and do a F2 (rename). Others have already had these for a decades...
Posted by klutzie (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
G5 Slower than a AMD 64?
Firstly, if you dislike Mac's as much as it would appear, what the
**** are you doing using a Dual G5 2.0 GHz. If they were that
bad you wouldn't touch it.

My Dual G4 500MHz (5 years old) wipes the floor with most of
the PC's that I use at wotk (1 year old) etc. If you want a machine
that can do a lot of task at once Mac's have hands down.

Just one last thing, will you redneck American's learn to spell
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm calling it...

"My Dual G4 500MHz (5 years old) wipes the floor with most of the PC's that I use at wotk (1 year old) etc."

Sure it does brah. Everytime a weak ass G(Insert Number) comes out, the next week Intel or AMD is killing it softly. Maybe they'll put up a better fight with the Intel's, too bad AMD is leading the CPU department right now.
Posted by tahbasco (30 comments )
Link Flag
Line in the sand
Boy, everyone needs to just chill. Yeah, I have skills in . . . you have skills in . . . Who cares? What Vista is trying to accomplish is a better overall OS for the general computer population, not the technophiles. Personally, I use both XP and OS X (both from day one of each, by the way). For the average consumer, the Mac offers a much better experience . . . easier to set up, manage, use basic functions like email, photo, internet, music, home video, etc. The one thing that I disliked the most was having to always fix other's Windows machines because it was too complicated or too broken for them to fix it (from viruses, spyware, not having correct drivers, etc.)

Microsoft has not done a good job at keeping the average consumer satisfied, and the average user hasn't noticed since there are not many alternatives advertised right in front of them (Mac doesn't advertise OS X -- they should). Microsoft is far more concerned with their developers because they are dependant upon them for hardware and software.

Apple, on the other hand, is much more focused on the consumer typically, designing OS X to be centered around the consumer (iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, Garageband, iTunes, Automator, Expose, no successful viruses/spyware for OS X, etc). Also, they have produced consumer items like the iPod that simply work.

Personally, I stick with OS X because of its simplicity and flexibility. I have to use XP for work due to software constrained to XP boxes.

Just a preference. OS X allows me to actually get work done with less maintenance than XP.
Posted by jypeterson (181 comments )
Reply Link Flag
VISTA Rocks!!!!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://homepage.mac.com/vito/real_vista_episode_1.mov" target="_newWindow">http://homepage.mac.com/vito/real_vista_episode_1.mov</a>
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What more need be said??????
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
That is SWEET indeed!
LMFAO nice job!
Posted by MacDuff (62 comments )
Link Flag
That was great.
Posted by Thrudheim (306 comments )
Link Flag
Good stuff
Sad thing is most of the MS fans will probably not realize what OS was being demonstrated there.

Hint for the clueless: That was not Vista
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
i noticed
i don't own a mac... i suppose i'm even a loyal pc guy, but damn... that was clever.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Link Flag
Ignorance is bliss
So, 2 pump, did you happen to tell tell the folks here how many
times you've had to re-image your boxes due to spyware and
viruses? Huh? Or the cost of Virus protection for your org? Huh?
What about CALs? Huh?

Please, there are some people here that work IT and know the
real deal. Stop the BS. Also, please tell me how much video you
recorded with your TV tuner card on your Win '95 box back in
'93? I bet you put a whole lot of video on that 250MB HD back
then, maybe 500MB or 1GB. Lots of video...yeah, yeah. Even if
you could, you know how much you would have spent for HD
storage back then. C'mon, dude, you are either ignorant or just
turning 20.
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista and New Computers
It seems to me that Vista is a good way to sell computers, not the other way around. Seriously, how many people buy operating systems out of the box? This is the core of the reason for a new OS from Microsoft every few years---it's all about the packaging on the new computers at the retail stores.
When people read the word "Vista" emblazoned on these new computer packages, it'll get the computers out of the stores and into people's homes. All the rest of the sales of Vista as a separately packaged product will be icing on the cake. The millions of computers produced with Vista pre-installed will make Vista a household name, whether anyone here's thrilled about it or not. It's all in the packaging, not in the performance.
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wait and See. (And a Mac vs Windows idea)
I agree that Vista will become a household name. Every Mcrosoft
product has before and probably will do in the future. What I
doubt however is whether or not it will cause those computers to
get out of the store. People nowadays are far more cautious on
security and those areas with which the previous Windows
versions had difficulty. The 'blue screen of death' is renowned as
being a Windows phenomenon and people don't likely forget
such things. Sure Vista will be more flashy and, dare I say it,
more Mac like than ever before but a product is only as good as
it's performance, and I think the business sector will be more
wary of adopting Vista and may wait until they see a definate
reason and benefit in switching.

On another point can I just say this I own a Mac currently. I've
used Windows in the past and recently and I simply just didn't
like it. I have my Mac because it is rock solid and in over two
years has failed me maybe 5 times. That to me represents a
good product and that is why i believe in the Mac platform. Now
before you lot jump down my throat if Vista is as good as it
states well that's fine. Hell I may even put a copy on my Intel Mac
next year ;-) What I do want to say is this. How many of the ppl
above have used both over a long period of time? If you haven't
don't bother arguing and whinging about which is better cos
you've only got half the story. Go try a new OS today. Live a
Posted by Angelfire1982 (6 comments )
Link Flag
Throw my ipod away?
Not likely. Wander college campuses. Subways. Train
stations. Everyone has the ipod. They are brand new
and very expensive. Has Gates given us a reason to
give up the ipod for his system? Nope. Apple has made
it easy, compelling, and beautfully designed. And it's
gonna take something big to dethrone the ipod.
Posted by AdGuy (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Keynote boring as hell
Did anyone else have trouble staying awake for it?

Steve Balmer would have been more entertain. Maybe he could have
thrown a few chair and screamed that he was going to $%%$ing kill
Posted by aristotle_dude (165 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista's Latest Beta blows chunks..
As an engineer and CEO of Wavestation Custom PC's (www.wavestation.com) I am deeply disappointed in the profound code bloat.
booting with 1 instance of IE7 running
requires 650mb of ram..!
Also per given cpu, it is substantially slower than XP and that was doggy enough.
Posted by tongorondele (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I just installed it and it is a Dog that suffers
from extreme code bloat
Posted by tongorondele (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
With DRM, Nothing Truly "Plays for Sure"
"Gates also demonstrated how the format's guaranteed ability to allow secure copies will allow DVD purchases to be used throughout the digital home."

Guarantee? Even insurance policies do not provide all guarantees. Point final, for each device, you will need to buy a separate disc. One for iPod, one for Microsoft's player and one for your car.

"Gates announced a new partnership with DirecTV that will allow subscribers ... to move shows ... onto Windows PCs, the Xbox 360 and mobile devices that are part of Microsoft's "Plays For Sure" program."

The Facts: With DRM, Nothing Truly "Plays for Sure"

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/guide/" target="_newWindow">http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/guide/</a>

It would be funny if it were not too sad. Do not buy crippled discs and sign a pledge here:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.pledgebank.com/boycottdrm" target="_newWindow">http://www.pledgebank.com/boycottdrm</a>
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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