Bill Gates and Microsoft Show Consumers How to “Bring It Home” With the Next Wave of Consumer Electronics and Solutions

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2001 — Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., kicked off 2001 International CES today with a keynote address detailing how the accelerated pace of software and hardware advances has changed the consumer electronics industry in recent years and how they will continue to spur its future trends. He pointed to new products such as the Microsoft® Xbox™ video gaming system and UltimateTV® service and continuing advancements in Internet services, handheld computers and digital music as prime examples of overall industry trends and of Microsoft’s contributions to these advances.

Gates emphasized that software brings together the best of the computer and consumer electronics industries and allows them to continually improve peoples’ lives. Amplifying this point, Gates demonstrated several new products and shared his vision of how these and other software advances will digitally enhance daily life, making it simpler, more fun and more connected.

“For the first time, the broad availability of Internet-based services, a new generation of smart, connected devices and home networking solutions are enabling consumer technology companies to improve the way people live,”
Gates said.
“The last 25 years of software development will provide the platform for the next 25 years of consumer technologies.”

In Gates’ keynote address and in Microsoft’s booths at CES, the company put its theme for the show —
“Microsoft Brings It Home” — into action. Key to this theme is Microsoft’s effort with industry partners to make it easier for consumers to combine their PCs with other electronics, application software and high-speed access from the MSN® network of Internet services. Gates offered examples of these new conveniences during his address as a demonstration of the type of end-to-end solutions Microsoft and retail partners Best Buy Co. Inc., RadioShack Corp. and Circuit City Stores Inc. plan to deliver to consumers in time for holidays. He showed how Microsoft software allows people to access their favorite music around the house on everything from their PC to their clock radio. He showed how the Pocket PC and other handheld devices soon will allow people to do many more things — including controlling electronics and other equipment around their homes — some without using their hands. Gates demonstrated a hands-free Windows® Powered Hitachi wearable Internet appliance (WIA), which allows users to view the equivalent of a 13-inch display through the lens of an eyeglass-like device.

He offered a look at a
“slim and sexy”
PC that runs the next generation of the Windows operating system, code-named
and that offers built-in peripherals for new, exciting user scenarios. He also showed how simple digital cameras and video recorders can be connected to
as well as how easy it is to edit content and share the final product with a variety of other home devices.

In addition, Gates demonstrated how new Windows Media™
Technologies allows people to customize and share music on portable players, Pocket PCs or inside their home. He also noted how MSN, the most visited site on the Web, and new home networks allow people to keep updated and connected to information and services, while Xbox, UltimateTV, eBooks and other advances are making home entertainment more exciting and extreme.

Xbox Unveiled

A highlight of Gates’ keynote address came when he revealed what Xbox will look like when it hits stores in fall 2001. Gates unveiled the Xbox console and controller and showed demos of two games being developed exclusively for Xbox:
by United Kingdom-based Argonaut Games PLC and
“Munch’s Oddysee”
by Oddworld Inhabitants Inc. and published by Microsoft. Gates later was joined on stage by professional wrestler The Rock to promote an Xbox wrestling game.

UltimateTV: One Box Does It All

Microsoft is also debuting UltimateTV at CES. In his demonstration, Gates showed how UltimateTV allows consumers to pause and later resume two live broadcasts simultaneously, store up to 35 hours of satellite programming, access the Internet, play along with television shows and customize their television schedule. Future enhancements to UltimateTV, including Ethernet capability, will be available via a simple software upgrade.

Connected Home: Enhancing, Simplifying Daily Life

In addition to the examples Gates shared in his keynote speech, Microsoft is highlighting the technologies included in its
“connected home”
at CES with a simulation of a completely networked house. The house integrates Microsoft technology for home networking equipment and more than 40 devices and services.

Microsoft technologies and services highlighted in the connected home display and elsewhere at CES include the following:

  • Car.NET. The wireless computing and entertainment initiative for automobiles based on the Microsoft.NET Platform offers in-car computer navigation, Internet and safety applications, and a backseat digital video disc (DVD) and video game system.

  • Wireless Pocket PCs. The fast wireless experience offers mobile access to any site on the Web through the Internet Explorer browser.

  • Web pads. As small as a paperback book, the wireless device made by Samsung Electronics and powered by Windows CE 3.0 offers quick access to the Web and e-mail.

  • Internet radio. AudioRamp Inc.’s IntelligentAudio allows users to listen to streaming audio, Web radio stations, Windows Media and MP3 files, and other digital music on a single device.

  • Internet appliance. The handheld eCase from InViso displays e-mail, Web pages and full-sized documents on a 1-inch screen exactly as a user would see them on a desktop monitor.

  • Digital audio players. The Compaq Personal Audio Player PA-1, Creative Nomad Jukebox, Iomega HipZip, Nike psa play 120, RCA Lyra2, Rio Digital Audio Receiver and Sony Vaio Music Clip let consumers take their favorite music with them or access music from the PC throughout their home.

  • Wireless Internet music player. Based on Windows CE 3.0, the DigMedia device lets users select Internet radio stations, download and share music and listen to stored music without being tethered to a desktop PC.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software —
any time, any place and on any device.

Some information contained in this document relates to a prereleased product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect such product when first commercially released. This document is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this document or the information contained in it.

Microsoft, Xbox, UltimateTV, MSN, Windows and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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